Tips & Advice

Seating Problems Solved by the Rifton Activity Chair

August 23, 2011 by Clare Stober

We always appreciate it when clinicians tell us about unique ways they’ve found to use our innovative medical equipment. Since introducing the Rifton Activity Chair in March 2010 we’ve had a steady stream of compliments and feedback from therapists telling why they like the chair. Here’s a short presentation we made from a list sent to us by Judi Rogers OTR/L of Los Angeles Unified School District. A transcript of the slides is also provided below.

Clinicians in Feeding Clinics are telling us that it is the chair of choice for use in their clinics and for parents to use at home to teach children who cannot easily swallow. “Children are making faster progress in therapy because we are not constantly battling the problems with positioning. I don’t know what I ever did without it!” Elizabeth P. Clawson, MS, Ph.D., LCP, HSPP

Parents love the quick and intuitive adjustments they can easily make with the Rifton Activity Chair. One parent told us she sits her child in chair to cut his hair, brush his teeth, and sit him up at the table with his family for meals.

School therapists report preferring the Rifton Activity Chair over children’s wheelchairs because it allows for active seating.

“I can easily adjust the same chair to fit a Kindergartner or a 3rd grader and everything in between.

  • We can drop the chair down to child’s table level and pump it up again, so the child can be transferred to a changing table of almost any height.
  • The pelvic harness is a perfect design for supporting both pelvic alignment and external rotation at the hips.
  • The chair tray angle is perfect for use as a slant support for students with decreased trunk control.

The adjustments are fabulous! The most important factor is how comfortable, functional, and straight the kids are in the chair!” Judi Rogers, OTR/L, Los Angeles Unified School District

As always, we really appreciate it when you take the time to tell us what you’ve done with Rifton equipment!
Transcript of the ideas conveyed in the slides:

Six Seating Problems solved by the Rifton Activity Chair:

  1. Wheelchairs are primarily designed for transportation, not function. They rarely fit under a desk or table. The height of the Rifton Activity Chairs can be easily adjusted – by therapist or teacher – to fit the student and the task every time.
  2. To adjust a wheelchair requires new parts, a whole tool kit, and an appointment with a qualified technician. Rifton’s chair requires no tools to adjust.
  3. Parents must choose a wheelchair or adapted stroller when their child starts school. Whatever they choose, their child will be sitting in that chair for transportation, in school, and at home for the next six years. Making the wrong choice could impact their child’s comfort and even their health. Rifton’s chairs are designed for function, with more adjustments than expensive desk chairs.
  4. Wheelchairs are so expensive that children often sit in the same chair from preschool through 4th or 5th grade! No wheelchair can adequately adjust to accommodate a child’s normal growth during those five or six years. Rifton chairs can be adjusted over a wide range to grow with the child. And because Rifton chairs are not customized for an individual child, they can be passed on to the next student when they have outgrown them. This keeps every student perfectly seated and keeps the costs down, too.
  5. In order to learn, students must be comfortable, pain free, and rested. Because the seat and back angles change easily, the new Rifton chair can go from supporting good posture – to relieving pressure – to allowing a nap in just seconds.
  6. Lateral supports on wheelchairs are rarely adjusted properly because they need to accommodate clothing from t-shirts to parkas! The lateral supports on the new Rifton chairs are independently and easily adjusted, so they can be moved out to accommodate jackets and back in when they are removed. A perfect fit means perfect support.
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Reply by Sara Kribs on September 28, 2011 at 8:00 PM
I have a medium activity chair that we use in my classroom. We use it throughout the day with several students because it adjusts so easily to different students. My classroom consists of severly multiply impaired kids, and this activity chair is so helpful. My school is a model site for Linda Bidabe’s MOVE program, and we certainly use this chair to its fullest to get my kids MOVEing. We use it to do art activities, sit in for circle time, eating, music and even running errands with students that can’t walk in gait trainers because it is so easy to push. I have ordered a large activity chair for my larger students and it is coming tomorrow. I am so excited.