Dynamic Seating for People with Cerebral Palsy

Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

Dynamic Seating is movement which occurs within the seat and/or wheelchair frame in response to force from the client.  Dynamic components absorb force which in turn assists the client back to a starting position. Dynamic Seating is frequently used to prevent equipment breakage, prevent client injury, diffuse extensor tone, and provide movement. For people with cerebral palsy who use a wheelchair, Dynamic Seating is a great option for many reasons.

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Amanda “Rocks” Her Wheelchair for a Walk – an interview with Tamara Kittelson-Aldred                                                          

Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

Tamara Kittelson-Aldred, M.S., OTR/L, ATP/SMS is an Occupational Therapist in Montana who has been practicing for more than 40 years! She has been using Dynamic Seating with the clients she serves for 10 – 15 years now. Tamara and I talked about her experiences with Dynamic Seating, particularly with one of her clients, Amanda.

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Saving Wheelchair Equipment from Destruction: Dynamic Seating to the Rescue

Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

I recently presented a webinar on Dynamic Seating through AbleNet. One of the participants shared that he had successfully used Dynamic Seating with a client who routinely ‘destroyed’ seating and wheeled mobility equipment. Vincent Coratello is an Adapted Equipment Specialist and Minister of Fleet Operations at Allegheny Valley School in Hummelstown, PA. I asked him if we could get together for a phone call to discuss Dynamic Seating and he graciously agreed! Continue reading

Wheelchair Seating Surfaces, Cushions & Dynamic Seating

Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

Can a Dynamic Back be used with any type of seat? Does the movement allowed by this component limit what seating surface can be used? This is an important consideration. A seat or cushion is typically designed to support the pelvis and provide pressure distribution when the client is in a static position. Dynamic seating gets things moving! Continue reading

Dynamic Seating: a cost benefit analysis

Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

Whenever I recommend complex rehab equipment for a client, I need to be aware of the cost of my recommendations. Why? One reason is that my documentation must often include why something less costly will not meet the client’s needs. I often hear from team members who are considering Dynamic Seating interventions but are concerned about the cost of these components and if the equipment is justified, as a result.

Dynamic Seating has many clinical benefits for wheelchair users and those benefits are our primary justification. From there, I do believe we can look at the cost-benefit analysis and find additional justifications. Continue reading

Evaluation, Simulation and Dynamic Seating Trials

Recently a therapist asked me how she could recommend Dynamic Seating components if she didn’t actually try these with a client. Great question! It is not typically realistic to conduct Dynamic Seating trials as one would need to place Dynamic Seating components on a client’s wheelchair for trial and often the frame would need to be modified to accept these components. A similar situation occurs with molding seating. Molded seating cannot truly be simulated without a shape capture and/or providing the fabricated molded seating system. Instead, clinical reasoning is used to determine that molded seating is indicated.

Here are some suggestions for simulating a Dynamic Seating Trial to identify if Dynamic Seating would be appropriate during an evaluation:

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Phillip: an update on Dynamic Seating and Supporting Movement

Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

Phillip is a 61 year old man who resides at the Mary Campbell Center in Wilmington, DE. We featured Phillip in a blog in October of 2017. I had the opportunity to work with Phillip in May of 2017 and recommended Dynamic Seating components at the knees, back, and head. I wanted to catch up with his physical therapist, Diana Hoopes, to see how he is doing. Diana graduated in 1975 from the University of Baltimore and later received her master’s degree in Special Education. Diana is retiring soon to spend time with her 11 grandchildren! She has worked at the Mary Campbell Center for many years and loves what she does.

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