adjusting day to day for #specialneeds

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A Staffordshire family is now able to relax about child support through prescription of an innovative seat- a posture cushion that moulds to his daily needs.

Their son was born with global developmental delay and epilepsy and has no mobility. He is completely reliant on his carers for all transfers and struggles with his secretions.

As a result, the family were finding it very hard to ensure he was properly and comfortably supported during the day. The problem was exacerbated by his changing postural needs: what was appropriate one day would not be the next, depending on his level of secretion, muscle tension etc.

One of AAT’s proved the solution, prescribed  and purchased by the family’s Occupational Therapy team at their local Council. It followed an in-depth assessment in partnership with AAT.

Infinitely-variable posture cushion

In the free, no obligation assessment, the boy was able to be sat in the Chilli Bean and it be exactly contoured to his requirements. The resultant shape meant he was sat in a correct, pressure-free posture, and was comfortable. Once the Chilli Bean was purchased, AAT revisited the family to train them in the management and adjustment of the seat. They can manage their son’s posture on a daily basis going forward, without the need for expensive and often lengthy re-modelling of fixed moulds .

“What works for him one day may not be suitable the next,” explained  mum. “The Chilli Bean is perfect: we’re able ourselves to finitely adjust the contouring and firmness of the seat to make him properly supported. It’s the first time we’re chilled about his comfort, we know with the Chilli Bean it’s easy to make even tiny alterations whenever he needs. With his secretions, it’s hygienic too as we just wipe it down.”

How it works:

In essence a bean bag, Chilli Bean holds its shape by the attachment of a pump which sucks out all the air between the ‘beans’ so that they stay in the moulded contours. When the user requires a different configuration, however infinite/ minute, the trained carer can make those adjustments. A little air is allowed back in to enable the beans to move, the Chilli Bean re-shaped as needed, and the pump attached and operated to fix the new mould.  If required, the Bean and user can be “mapped” to ensure no pressure points. There is no need for fixed cast moulds, nor the cost and time involved in organising such variants.

wipe clean

Constructed from a sophisticated air- and water-proof form of neoprene, Chilli Bean’s surface breathes but is waterproof; thus it can be wiped clean, and easily disinfected. 

what else do we do?

The Chilli Bean seat compliments AAT vacuum postural care systems already in use at the family’s Cannock home: he uses a Bagel at bathtime, where the crescent-shaped cushion stabilises his head and neck enabling him to free-float in the water.

Chilli Bean and Bagel are just part of AAT’s vacuum technology postural support range to address moderate to severe motor impairment. The options range from small cushions to mattresses and even systems for water-based activity 

As part of AAT’s support for healthcare professionals, it provides virtual or actual technical training, demonstrations, and free, no obligation client assessments Click here for our booking form:


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