PT/OT

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Exercise

April 22, 2014 by Elena Noble, MPT
A physical therapist helps guide a patient in a Rifton TRAM mobility and transfer device

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a devastating neurodegenerative disease involving the progressive loss of upper and lower motor neurons. The increasing muscle atrophy and spasticity caused by the disease leads to weakness and fatigue which eventually affects a person’s ability to ambulate, complete self-care tasks and ultimately breathe. As...

PT/OT The Importance of Head Positioning with Adaptive Seating April 08, 2014 by Elena Noble, MPT
Positioning a person with severe disabilities in a seated posture for functional activities requires matching body functions and structures with available seating and positioning technology. With the wide variety of adaptive equipment available today, positioning for function has been made easier. This type of technology allows us to position a child in space for pressure relief, create a stable pelvis...
Tips & Advice Funding Equipment April 02, 2014 by Lori Potts, PT
Finding funding for adaptive equipment that you know will vastly enrich and enhance your child or client’s life can be a challenge at times. We have tried to do something about this. This resource page has been compiled to direct you to a few funding options. Links to three online guides provide information to families and clinicians to increase knowledge about adaptive equipment and assistive...
Stories Made in the USA: A Gallery of Our Manufacturing Process March 25, 2014 by Carmen Hinkey
I have this habit of looking in a new garment or pair of footwear to see where it was made, and I’m comforted when I find the mark of American craftsmanship and manufacturing. But that doesn’t touch the assurance we need when we are sourcing devices for the members of our society for whom only the best is good enough. That ‘best’ is delivered by our own citizens’ hands, and...
Stories A Grim Reminder, and a Must-Read March 11, 2014 by Carmen Hinkey
NY Times Publishes Groundbreaking Story about the Mistreatment of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities It’s been over forty years since Willowbrook, and we’ve come a long way in how we regard and treat people with disabilities. But we still have far to go, as we were reminded by an outstanding piece of long-form journalism that appeared on Sunday in the New York Times. “The...
Tips & Advice Meeting the Hygiene and Toileting Challenge with the Rifton HTS March 04, 2014 by Elena Noble, MPT
Last month, in advance of the launch of the new Rifton Hygiene and Toileting System (HTS), we published some research-based white papers on toilet training and toilet positioning for children and individuals with disabilities. This supplemented the work of Claire Keeler, RN CPNP, CDE, who wrote Toilet Training a Child with Special Needs. Positioning a child with disabilities comfortably on the toilet is...
PT/OT Correct Positioning in the Rifton Activity Chair February 25, 2014 by Elena Noble, MPT
The Rifton Activity Chair was designed to encourage functional and active sitting postures for children with cognitive and physical disabilities. Because such children can present with a wide variety of diagnoses and positioning requirements, helping them participate in classroom or family activities can be tough, but with the right chair it’s possible. The Rifton Activity Chair, because of its...
News Father of the IEP February 18, 2014 by Carmen Hinkey
Last month a pioneer died. James Gallagher was the man who introduced the idea of an individualized education plan (IEP) and a tireless advocate of the idea that every child deserves a free and appropriate public education, regardless of physical or intellectual abilities. He was the person most responsible for the passage of the 1975 landmark legislation now known as the Individuals with Disabilities...
PT/OT Achieving Optimal Toilet Positioning February 11, 2014 by Elena Noble, MPT
For a child with multiple physical challenges, toileting has often been regarded as a nuisance, an interruption, an added burden. New thinking about health and disability, however, has recast toileting as a critical intervention and an opportunity to teach meaningful skills. These skills, happily, are within reach for nearly every child with special needs. Provided with the right environmental...
PT/OT Using Prompts to Improve Toilet Training for Children with Physical Disabilities February 04, 2014 by Elena Noble, MPT
Toilet training is complex for every child. It requires maturity in motor and cognitive areas as well as emotional readiness. It combines the organization and understanding of bodily sensations with communication, motor planning, and timely task performance. As a result, parents are often anxious about toilet training. Fortunately, the scope of toileting methods is broad and there is lots of good advice...
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