Evidence Based Practice
New University Pilot Study Features the TRAM
March 30, 2015
Gerard Dybel PT, ScD, GCS, is an associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. His research interests include ergonomics, injury prevention in health care workers and the implementation of no-lift technology by physical therapists practicing in rehabilitation departments. He recently conducted a pilot study on safe patient handling (SPH) to evaluate...
A Quiet Giant Among Us
For some people, when they speak, we stop to listen whether we intended to or not. There is a power behind their words that comes from a lifetime of doing, of quietly practicing the values they speak of. Such a person is Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche, and a giant among advocates for people with disabilities.
This year Vanier was honored with the Templeton Prize, and on March 11 he delivered an...
Great Strides with the Rifton TRAM
A few years ago we welcomed a non-traditional student—we’ll call him Jay—at Lincoln Developmental Center (LDC) where we work. Most of our students have had a development disorder since birth; most are undersized and fit well into traditional equipment, but Jay sustained a traumatic brain injury at the age of 14 and arrived at LDC at the age of 17, fully grown, with limited positioning...
Community Action at its Finest
The receding snow banks are creating inviting sidewalks, and which kid’s first response is not “where’s my bike?” Children with physical disabilities want to ride just as much as any child, and they should. Sadly, adaptive trikes are far too rarely covered by Medicaid or insurance, even with a strong case for the therapeutic benefits of cycling.
Thankfully, there is a growing...
Special Colors for Special People
Kids love color. They notice it in nature, clothing and the classroom. So why not put that color on an Activity Chair? Available new this year, Rifton has six color choices to brighten up the seat and the back of the Activity Chair. So make your child’s chair fun and extra special with one of these choices: pink, red, blue, green, tan or purple.
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Robert Welton Clement arrived on March 25, 2014, fourth son to the family of my sister Jean and her husband Reuel. The birth was unexpectedly difficult, and Robert arrived looking like he might not survive – might, in fact, already be no longer living. But his heartbeat was there, even though he was not breathing. Eighteen agonizing minutes of emergency intervention and...
Evidence Based Practice
As professionals who have worked with children with poor motor control, we have no doubt about the importance of a gait trainer. Using gait trainers for upright positioning and ambulation practice for children unable to walk independently has been a long-standing intervention in clinics, schools and homes. But we’ve all lamented the dearth of solid clinical research to support what we’ve...
The "Adverse Birth Outcome"
I didn’t know Henry until this morning, but he’s been in my mind all day thanks to what his mother shared so honestly about having him.
In case any of us need reminding, the Washington Post carried her beautiful reminder that they are children first, their potential to learn and meet milestones far more important than their disabilities. And she takes it even farther: She is...
Pacer Gait Trainer Positioning Checklist
Therapists who use the Pacer gait trainer with more than one client know how important it is to replicate the same settings and positioning each time. But since each user requires different settings, it’s easy to forget from client to client and miss out an important adjustment or prompt. The staff at MOVE have devised a handy checklist to prevent this. We’ve taken their form and reorganized...
Benefits of Adaptive Seating Beyond the Wheelchair
Wheelchair seating and positioning is a frequent source of frustration for parents. I often hear that the wheelchair just doesn’t work well in the home. It is too low to use at the table for meals or homework but it sits too tall for their child to be at the same height as their friends. Or I hear complaints about maneuverability in the home. But perhaps the most important complaint I hear is this:...