Joe Gilkerson, ATP, works with Numotion in Salisbury, Maryland. I had a wonderful phone conversation with him recently in which he shared some dynamic seating experiences he has had with one of his clients, Blake and his journey to self propulsion.
The Dynamic Rocker Back Interface (DRBi) is a Dynamic Back that moves in response to client force. The elastomers in this Dynamic Back then return the client to an upright position. Some Dynamic Seating components “lock-out” or “latch” to temporarily render the component static. When should the DRBi be locked out?
Kylie and I have known each other for a long time. This young woman lives in Wyoming and works in the theatre. Kylie has cerebral palsy and has used a power wheelchair and speech generating device since a young age. She has recently started using dynamic seating. I spoke with Kylie and her mom, Chele, by phone.
The International Seating Symposium takes place each March and this year returned to beautiful Vancouver, Canada. I had the privilege to present a pre-symposium half-day course on Dynamic Seating: Enhancing Participation through Movement with Jessica Presperin Pedersen, OTD, MBA, OTR/L, ATP/SMS. We had a full house with participants from around the world interested in Dynamic Seating. In addition to the presented content, we had a significant amount of questions and interaction with the attendees. We also had a variety of dynamic seating products in the room for the attendees to explore at the end of the session.
I had the privilege to present with a group of colleagues on Dynamic Seating at the International Seating Symposium last year. One of my co-presenters was Suzanne Eason, OT/L who works at St. Mary’s Home in Virginia. Suzanne is very interested in the impact of movement on brain development. I recently had a conversation with my friend.
Phillip is a mover and a shaker – literally! This adult with developmental disabilities likes to move. He lives at a residential facility in Delaware. Years of rocking in his manual wheelchairs have left a trail of destruction. He has broken seating systems, mounting hardware, and wheelchair frames as a result of repeated and often strong movements. Phillip is currently using a tilt in space manual wheelchair with a linear back and an off-the-shelf cushion. When he rocks, he tends to move the entire chair across the room, so the staff lock the wheels. The result? He rocks with such force that the solid tires have repeatedly broken where they contact the wheel locks!
Daniel is a 17 year old young man with the diagnosis of cerebral palsy. He has been successfully using dynamic seating for over 5 years now. He started with a KidRock dynamic manual wheelchair. He currently uses a tilt in space manual wheelchair with a dynamic rocker back and dynamic footrests. I sat down with his Mom, Mary, to ask her some questions.
Our last blog discussed how dynamic seating can provide vestibular input for clients. Vestibular input can, in turn, calm agitated clients and help sub-aroused clients be more alert. Movement can also increase comfort and general muscle activity.
Dynamic Seating moves in response to client forces. Many clients move, not due to increased extensor tone, but rather for the explicit purpose of moving. We all tend to seek out movement. We are wired to move and movement has so many benefits. Movement can calm, arouse, work muscles and provide comfort by varying our position. From a sensory standpoint, movement provides vestibular input.