Getting Better Seat Positioning for the Child with Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy is a result of early damage to the parts of the brain that control muscle movements. Coordination and posture will be affected to varying degrees and symptoms can range from mild to severe physical disability (1). Some children with cerebral palsy can have mental retardation, seizures, or speech/hearing deficits as well. Although it is not progressive, cerebral palsy is a permanent condition...
Evidence Based Practice
Evidence Update: The Relationship of Trunk Support to Head Stability
Trunk and head control is a challenge for many children with cerebral palsy (CP). This fascinating recent study examines how providing varying levels of biomechanical trunk support affects neural control of head stability, specifically for children with CP in Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) Levels IV or V.
By definition, GMFCS Level IV indicates children whose walking ability is severely...
Survey Results: Building a Case for Dynamic Seating
Occupational therapist Michelle Lange recently conducted a survey on dynamic seating. Her questions focused on wheelchairs that have dynamic components integrated into or added to the design. Over 100 clinicians and suppliers responded and it’s clear that we’re seeing an increased appreciation for dynamic adaptive equipment for children and clients with unique positioning needs.
Positioning Checklist for the Rifton Activity Chair
By popular request we now have created a positioning checklist for the Rifton Activity chair. Therapists know how tough it can be to remember each client’s specific support prompts and settings, especially with an adaptive chair that is used between multiple clients. This handy checklist will help. Feel free to share it with your colleagues. And, as always, give us your feedback.
Download the Rifton...
Evidence Based Practice
Evidence Update: Positioning for Cognition
Motor development in children is closely connected to cognitive development. As children learn new postures and mobility skills they’re increasingly able to explore their environment. This, in turn, helps improve cognition. In order to nurture these same motor and cognitive gains in children with disabilities, therapists use supported positioning techniques to facilitate age-appropriate skills and...
Tips & Advice
Ingenious Solutions from the Field: Adding a Communication Tray to the Activity Chair
For those who would like to use a communication device while in the Rifton Activity Chair, here is a creative solution from a school-based therapist.
1. Replace an armrest on the Activity Chair with the metal forearm prompt base (without the arm prompts attached).
2. Attach the clamp that comes with the Dynamic Pacer communication tray to the forearm prompt base.
3. Insert the communication tray post into...
Adaptive Equipment for Classrooms Series: Part 1 of 3
This post is the first in a series of articles on the topic of adaptive equipment use in the classroom. Adaptive equipment, used appropriately, serves as a teaching tool for students to learn the motor skills of sitting, standing, and walking, while engaged in the curriculum. This post focuses on active sitting as a motor skill.
Adaptive Equipment for Classrooms Series: Part 2 of 3
Adaptive Equipment for...
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.
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:...
Teaching Active Sitting Skills
As therapists we generally like to distinguish between active and passive sitting. Active sitting refers to dynamic positioning of the trunk and extremities over a stabilized pelvis for the purpose of completing a task. Active sitting is the posture we use for eating, learning and participation because it is a posture of alertness and purpose, relying heavily on the strength and sustained functioning of...