Hello! We are Paul and Jackie Rozema of Holland, Michigan, U.S.A. We are the proud grandparents of Taylor and are the inventors of the Taylorbar®. Thank you for visiting our site and for your interest in learning more about our product!
The Taylorbar® was originally invented for Taylor, a child with significant developmental delays that were worsened by her resistance to tummy time. The world was blessed with Taylor in April of 2004, when she was born to our daughter, Katie, and her husband, Vince Tortonesi. Taylor has a chromosome disorder called 4p- Syndrome (Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome), and she also has mitochondrial disease. These conditions have caused her to have low muscle tone and unstable joints, which are two of the many symptoms that have contributed significantly to her delayed gross motor development.
In her first two years of life, Taylor did not have enough upper body strength to push herself up with her arms, as a child would normally do to learn how to crawl. Her only means of mobility was rolling. Taylor was so proficient at rolling, though, that she had no motivation to stay on her tummy and was extremely resistant to this position.
It was a monumental chore for Taylor's parents and therapists to keep her prone in order to work on strengthening her core and arm muscles, so that she could eventually learn to crawl. By the time Taylor turned two, we were all quite frustrated with a complete lack of progress in this area. After learning that there were no products available to assist in keeping Taylor prone for her therapy and yet still allow her freedom of movement, my wife and I began engineering a device that would do just that. After considerable thought, much discussion, and quite a bit of trial and error, we developed such a device - and it worked beautifully!
Within a couple months of using it, Taylor learned to push up on her arms and began combat crawling. When the ability to roll was taken away from her, the motivation to move in other ways was initiated! Mobilizing herself while remaining on her tummy was awkward at first for Taylor - this was something that she was not accustomed to doing. She worked very hard at it, though, and succeeded...
Several months later, she became quite proficient at combat crawling...
Soon after this, Taylor was strong enough to get herself into a four-point position, and eventually she became strong enough to four-point crawl. She then had the strength and motivation to learn other new skills, such as transitioning herself from laying to sitting, tall kneeling, and pulling to stand. At the age of four, Taylor started to walk independently. This was enormous progress for a child with her delays, and it was an exceedingly emotional and heart-warming event to watch unfold. In our modest opinion, and her therapists' as well, her achievement of these milestones was helped significantly with the Taylorbar® Tummy Time Prone Positioner.
Taylor's therapists at her Early Childhood Development Center were very impressed with the device. Soon after we initiated its use with Taylor, they began to order more of the devices for use with other children. We also made many others for children of parents in Katie's support groups, and we received many positive testimonials from both parents and professionals alike. Our mission became clear - to make this product available to any and all children around the world who could benefit from it. So we patented the product and also trademarked it "Taylorbar®."