Special seating is often required for children or young people who have difficulty maintaining a functional sitting posture by themselves. The support from the seat means that a child or young person can concentrate on tasks in hand, rather than focusing all their efforts on maintaining a sitting posture. Therefore, it is really important that a child or young person's body shape is understood, and that the chair matches their needs.
Clare will do the following during a comprehensive seating assessment:
- Observe the child or young person in their existing seat, to get clues about the problems and where she might want to focus her attention during the physical assessment;
- Assess the child or young person's physical capabilities and limitations in supine (on his/her back) and measure ranges of movement, lengths and angles;
- Assess child or young person's sitting on a therapy bench while providing support, to gauge where support is needed on a seating system;
- Consider the child or young person's environment and transport needs;
- Consider the child or young person's family participation and social needs;
- Adjust the existing seating system if possible; or identify gaps in seating provision and make recommendations for an alternative seating system, including planning for future needs.
Tips for Special Seating
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