Evidence Based Practice
Evidence Update: Dynamic Seating for Children with Autism
Teachers and therapists working in inclusive classrooms continue to work to improve academic outcomes for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). One fascinating area of inquiry is seating modification to improve in-seat performance, as students may need to sit for five hours during a normal school day. In one recent article on the topic, researchers examined how dynamic seating options...
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...
Tilt and Recline in Pediatric Mobility
We know that there are over fifteen body functions and body structures affected by the orientation of an adaptive seating system. So needless to say, when setting up such a seating system for a child with disabilities, it’s important to get it right. That task falls on the child’s therapist or ATP. Successful positioning and functional results depends on thoroughly understanding the...
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.
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...
Studying Neurodevelopmental Disorders with the Rifton Activity Chair
From school classrooms to radiology departments to hospital feeding clinics, the Rifton Activity Chair meets a range of positioning needs in a variety of environments.
Recently we learned of yet another clinical setting where the Activity Chair has found a niche: in the study of neurodevelopmental disorders at the UC Davis MIND Institute, an internationally respected research facility. Here, the...
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...
Optimal Positioning with Adaptive Seating for the Child with Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy is a result of abnormalities in the parts of the brain that control muscle movements. For children with cerebral palsy, their muscle control, coordination, and posture will be affected to varying degrees by this faulty development or damage to areas of their brain. Cerebral Palsy affects approximately three out of every 1,000 children, and symptoms can range from mild to severe physical...
Stabilizing the Pelvis with the Rifton Pelvic Harness
Why do we need to stabilize the pelvis when sitting? To answer this, we need to understand hip and pelvis anatomy and the involved kinesiology. First, given the ball and socket nature of the hip joint, significant degrees of motion are available. The hip joint can move from being in a position of entire stability or “closed-packed” positioning to one of mobility, called the “open...