Tips & Advice
Part 1: Concepts for Mobility Skill Building
July 16, 2019
Using the Rifton Pacer’s full range of adjustment possibilities will help you meet goals for mobility and activity. Individuals who cannot bear weight fully through their lower extremities, or need prompting for alignment need appropriately positioned prompts and supports. Motor skills acquisition and strength building are best achieved when an individual is given just enough support to facilitate...
May I Have This Next Dance?
As a special ed teacher who has worked with students with a variety of physical challenges, I have a particular appreciation for Rifton Equipment. There’s a distinct excitement in seeing how the right equipment can change a child’s life. A piece of equipment could help someone be a runner, walk down the aisle to receive a diploma, or, in the case of one of my students, be an independent...
Tips & Advice
What To Do About Gait Trainer Seat Sitters
Do you work with children whose hips won’t stay forward during gait training? Or those kids who sit on the seat of a gait trainer when you want them upright? Whether from hypotonia or decreased core stabilization, here is a great idea to help cue those hips forward in the Rifton gait trainer.
1. Position the handholds of the Rifton Pacer upside down and towards the back of the top bar.
The Compass Chair: A Classroom Seating Option for the Child with Autism
It’s an ongoing discussion, and one that anyone involved in some way with students with autism are familiar with. How do I get my students to concentrate so that they can learn? Can they ever sit still enough at a desk to learn the basics of reading, writing and math? Can I expect my student with autism to sit and attend in class in the same way I expect it of my regular education students? If there...
Unlikely Funding Source for Adaptive Equipment in Ohio
Employer work-place injury within schools may sound unlikely, but for those health professionals routinely assisting students with disabilities in school, it is not uncommon. In fact, the injury rate of health professionals engaging in lifts, transfers and re-positioning of patients ranks equally with those working in heavy construction settings.1,2
For this reason, in June of 2018, when the Ohio Bureau of...
Jean Vanier, 1928 – 2019
As the world mourns the passing of Jean Vanier and we consider his message, I find myself acknowledging that what his L’Arche communities provide is something each of us is actually capable of providing, though few of us do.
Indeed, societies have done a horrible job welcoming people with disabilities – intellectual or physical. Our ableist conditioning prevents us from embracing what Jean...
Useful Tips for Writing a Letter of Educational Necessity for Adaptive Equipment
As a school based practitioner, I understand the challenges and frustrations of acquiring adaptive equipment for students that will help bridge the gap between their capacity and performance. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) defines capacity as the student’s abilities in a situation apart from real life, such as during an evaluation in a quiet room with no...
Four Essentials to Know Before Writing an Effective Letter of Educational Necessity
1. Understand the requirements of federal law IDEA 2004.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that requires schools to meet the educational needs of students with disabilities. Funds for IDEA are allocated at federal, state, and local levels.
To be eligible for the provisions of IDEA, the student must present with one of the following disabilities: intellectual disability...
A patient with spinal cord injury recovers with the aid of an E-Pacer
Previously on our blog we shared a post about the use of Therabands with the TRAM from Linda Rusiecki, a physical therapist at Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids. In another post, Janette Tazzia and Linda Rusiecki tell about Janette’s recovery from a stroke. Now here’s a story of an individual impacted by a spinal cord injury who made remarkable gains with use of the Rifton E-Pacer in his...
Evidence Based Practice
Teens with Cerebral Palsy Benefit from Treadmill Gait Training – A Case Story
As a pediatric physical therapist working in public schools, I want my students to move, and to move in the same way their peers do. When Rifton came out with the treadmill gait trainer, I was eager to explore increasing exercise intensity for my teenagers with mobility impairments. I was fortunate enough to get funding for one in my school. I went to the literature to look for protocols using gait treadmills for youth with disabilities and did not find much.