Feeding Equipment for Special Needs Children

January 31, 2012 by Ann Walsh, MS/CF-SLP

Feeding children with oral-motor disability is often challenging, and positioning a child for this task is the key to success. The chair that we like to use for feeding in our clinic is the Rifton Activity Chair.

The Rifton Activity Chair with feeding equipment and positioning features

Using the Rifton Hi-Lo Activity Chair is a useful tool in therapy with patients who have feeding and/or swallowing difficulties.  Most of my clientele have some type of neurological diagnoses and need a feeding chair that will provide stabilization at meal times. The Rifton Hi-Lo Activity Chair provides stabilization at the feet, hips, chest, and head areas. Once my patients are stabilized, they can focus on their mouth and face area.

Additionally, the incline of the Activity Chair forward and back is a valuable feature. Several of my patients have the goal of reducing tongue protrusion when eating and drinking. To help with this goal, I will tilt the feeding chair back slightly and let gravity assist. The risk of aspiration is reduced and I have noticed significant progress overall. With Rifton’s chair, the mechanism for this tilt-in-space feature is simple and quick, which, in a feeding program, is essential. However, it is important that a knowledgeable professional guides the use of the tilt-in-space during mealtimes to ensure safe feeding.

So, having both the stabilization options and tilt-in-space in one chair is beneficial. It allows my patients to successfully chew and drink, and treatment sessions are easier and happier.

Sample Letter of Medical Necessity for a Rifton Feeding Chair

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Randall Allen Winingham | July 19, 2020
do you make any other head rest for this chairs my son lays his head to the right side alot
Elena | July 20, 2020

Hi Randall,

The Rifton activity chair comes with 3 choices of headrest- a flat headrest, contoured and an adjustable winged headrest.

Rifton also provides an adapter plate for the Whitmeyer headrests, so these supportive headrests can be used in conjunction with the chair.