Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS
Ryan Read grew up in Topeka, KS where his Mom worked with children with special needs. These early experiences had an impact on Ryan who now works as an ATP in wheelchair seating and mobility.
How did you get started in this field?
“I was a mechanic and I had done a lot of things in my life.” Ryan answered an ad for Presidential Conversions in Fayetteville, Arkansas and started working with van modifications about 15 years ago. He worked with lifts, transferring devices, hand-controls, and other driving systems. Eventually, Presidential Conversions became Presidential Mobility. Working on vans, Ryan discovered issues that often involved both the van and the wheelchair. As he was the only one willing to work on the power wheelchairs, Ryan became the technician. Eventually when the only ATP left, he and a co-worker both took the certification test and passed! That was 6 years ago, and Ryan has been working with Complex Rehab Equipment ever since.
What is your current role? Who do you work with?
Ryan works with a wide range of clients from people who walk into their office to very complex scenarios such as a client with ALS. This growing company provides home modifications, seating and wheeled mobility equipment, as well as vehicle modifications.
When did you start using Dynamic Seating components with clients?
Ryan began by working with the Kids Rock dynamic manual wheelchair. This base worked well but broke a lot. When the Kids Rock was discontinued, Ryan began looking for other options. He found Seating Dynamics and has been using these components ever since.
What problems are you addressing with Dynamic Seating?
Ryan has used Dynamic Seating primarily to prevent components from moving out of alignment and to prevent breakage. He finds the Seating Dynamics products to be very durable.
One client Ryan worked with initially had a tilt in space manual wheelchair without any Dynamic Seating. The wheelchair had to be replaced after a car accident. A Quickie IRIS with a Seating Dynamics Dynamic Rocker Back interface (DRBi) was recommended as this young man, who has cerebral palsy and very high muscle tone, was consistently breaking items on the wheelchair – sometimes as often as once a week! He would push with such force that he would literally ‘stand’ in the wheelchair seating system. While the Dynamic Back reduced breakage, the client continued to break the footrest hangers as he did not have Dynamic Footrests. Next, the supplier recommended the Kids Rock. Although the Kids Rock dynamic manual wheelchair worked well for the young man, this frame was prone to breakage – and he broke it constantly. When Ryan began working with this man who is now in his early 30s, he recommended a new tilt in space Ki Mobility manual wheelchair with a DRBi and Dynamic Footrests. This client is now doing quite well and hasn’t broken anything in the 8 months since he received this equipment. This is especially good news for Ryan, who repeatedly had to drive to this very rural location and needed a jeep to get up the hill leading to the client’s home!
What other benefits have you observed when using Dynamic Seating?
Ryan has noticed improvement in posture, reduced stress and agitation, and overall improved physical condition because the chair is moving with the client. He has also noted that clients who react to static surfaces with increased tone show a reduction in active tone when the surface moves.
Keep up the great work, Ryan!