Father of the IEP
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...
Improved Hygiene Care and Toileting
A Therapists Perspective
Hygiene care—particularly horizontal diapering—for people with severe disabilities can be time-consuming and taxing for the caregiver especially if it involves the traditional changing-table transfers. While changing tables are commonly used for young children and seldom pose problems, as children grow older (and heavier) the process becomes increasingly demanding....
Hygiene and Self Care for Your Patients
As an occupational therapist, one of my main goals has been to foster independence in my patients. For one, Randy, this independence centered on the area of hygiene and self-care. When I first met Randy he presented with developmental delays and underlying musculoskeletal impairments that affected his ability to move independently and perform age-appropriate transfers and functional activities. In...
Prone Standers: Positioning for Health and Independence
Prolonged immobility in a seated or supine position can result in contractures, skeletal deformity, skin ulcers and decreased bone mineral density. It can cause deficits in the digestive, respiratory, and circulatory systems. This is especially true for children with special needs who have decreased muscle strength, balance and tone issues. Because they cannot move or stand independently, these children...
Tips & Advice
Taking Advantage of the Dynamic Spring Options in the Rifton Activity Chair
My experience working with Rifton products spans 21 years but I had barely a clue about how the equipment was designed or fabricated until I visited Rifton’s Woodcrest and Platte Clove Communities in New York at the start of summer vacation. My visit to each community included a tour of the facility where the equipment is made and an opportunity to speak with some of the design team members. I saw...
Evidence Based Practice
Great Systematic Review on Pediatric Supported Standing
Physical therapists frequently implement supported standing protocols in pediatric settings for children whose disabilities would otherwise confine them to wheelchairs for most of the day. But there is a lack of evidence pertaining to the timing and frequency of adaptive standing for best outcomes. Ginny Paleg, PT, MPT, DScPT and her team chose to address the problem and recently came out with a...
Supplementary Aids and Services Webinar
Supplementary aids and services are a valuable way for therapists to support students in school systems. By viewing this 30 minute webinar, you will improve your knowledge of the role of supplementary aids and services as part of the IEP process, including decision making, key factors, and service delivery. This webinar also touches on the ICF in school-based practice, and the universal design for...
Anchors: A Way to Increase Independence
Rifton’s Anchor Family is more than a collection of suction cup grab bars and hand grips. The Anchor family is a set of distal arm stabilizers that enhance proximal stability of head, shoulder, trunk and pelvis. In essence, they assist students and young adults in becoming more independent in the classroom, community and home.
Previously, a hierarchical development theory emphasized working on...
5 Steps to Improving Communication on the Special Education Team
Special Education Team Roles and Responsibilities
There are many members of the special education team: students, parents, teachers, teacher’s assistants, administrators and therapists. Some team members, especially therapists, can have a varied caseload with students from different classrooms, different grades and even different schools. This can make it difficult to communicate effectively with...
Rifton TRAM Success Stories
Contributed by Kathleen Riley PT, ATP
Charlotte, North Carolina
I work in a school system with a variety of students with physical needs that require individualized consideration for safety in the restroom. We use a variety of equipment to assist with transfers and managing their personal needs. We’ve recently had success with the Rifton TRAM with several students....