Seating for Access: Its Critical Importance for AAC Device UseBy Kangas, Karen M.; Closing the Gap, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 7-9
Publication Date: June/July 2008
Article focuses on seating for task performance, particularly as it applies to a child using an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device. A seated position for task performance is defined as one where a child’s shoulders and head are in front of her pelvis, and feet are on the floor, are weight bearing, and are not symmetrically placed. Knees are held at a posture of less than 90 degrees of flexion, placed below the body. For children who cannot obtain this posture, as is often the case with those in wheelchairs, seating must be developed to assist them in assuming it. An example is given of a girl with cerebral palsy, whose seating system provided complete support of her lower body using a tall back, wedged seat, foot straps, chest harness, and a large head support. Appropriate to task performance, her seating was changed to incorporate a flat seat, shoulder-height back, and lower, flatter trunk positioners, and her chest strap was removed. The seating supported pelvic weight bearing and subsequent head control, enabling her to move and see. The article also describes the use of electronic, zero-pressure switches. Head-driven switches in particular are recommended, as they leave the hands free to interact with the activity performed.
Published by: Closing the Gap, Inc. (Website:http://www.closingthegap.com)