Our final suggestion for independent drinking that that we have found successful . The Hydrant
The Hydrant is a sports bottle specifically designed to give those with limited mobility a way to be able to drink independently.
It looks like an ordinary water bottle with an usual lid. Not only does the lid contain an opening for a tube to go in, it also has a handle that allows it to be attached securely to any chair, as demonstrated with both a house chair and a wheelchair. It's surprisingly stable and E has never knocked it off or pulled the tube out.
Once filled with water, E just needs to suck on the tube to get a drink. It works really well as E brings it to her mouth using the same movement as her sign for drink and she can easily grab the tube. For those less able to reach, it comes with a clip to attach the tube to clothing, keeping it close at hand.
The tube and bite valve work in a similar manner to sports based hydration systems but also uses gravity to help the liquid flow and once it is in the tube, it only takes a small suck to get a drink. We’ve had no problems at all with leakages, other when E spends time removing the bite valve for fun rather than drinking.
I contacted the people behind the Hydrant and they have kindly offered a few free for people to try (although they are really well priced). If you would like one, please post a comment below asking to be included in the draw. I’ll do a random selection at 5 pm on Thursday 11 July and post the winning names and get contact details then.