Doing homework, sitting still for classwork and studying: As a father of two school-age children, I know how exhausting and at the same time important this is for children. A quiet learning environment with their own desk and a suitable chair helps children to concentrate. And not the kitchen table with a chair that's far too big.
Children with disabilities should also be able to reach their full potential. For mental development and learning, children must be able to participate in lessons and daily activities in an alert, attentive and focused manner.
Sitting well on the right chair is the basis for motor skills for writing, playing and eating. Easy handling, the right functions and, last but not least, an appealing look promote participation in the classroom community, with friends and family. The right learning chair for kindergarten, school and at home creates the basis for the best possible development of children.
Sitting posture plays an important role in the development of activities and participation in everyday life for all children. With good sitting posture, children can more easily participate in everyday activities at home, such as sharing meals with family at the table, using the computer at the table, or recreational activities with friends and family. At school, the child sits in class and at home on homework. Studies show how important good sitting posture is, especially when learning. Being able to sit properly means more participation. Only those who feel comfortable can concentrate better in class. That's why children need a chair that is comfortable and gives them the right support.
A good sitting posture follows basic ergonomic principles that allow movement and flexibility. The aim is to avoid one-sided stress and tension, prevent pain and fatigue, and promote activity and independence. Concentration, learning and well-being can also be improved with the right chair.
Those who sit properly are better able to participate in class & recreational activities. To achieve an active sitting posture, you should 3 Principles be observed:
The pelvis, thighs and feet must be adequately supported for stable sitting. This enables children to actively participate in lessons and leisure activities.
The freedom of movement of arms, hands and head also promotes movement and activity. For example, children can lean forward - an important movement sequence for numerous everyday activities.
Stability with simultaneous mobility in the trunk, shoulders and head improve balance in the back For further support, armrests can be used, for example.
"Be sure to get advice on questions about assistive devices: From your child's therapist, from the children's rehab specialist dealer or even from us. I would be happy to name a specialist dealer near you."
Anette Detjen, Rehab Counseling
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Children with disabilities are often less active during the day than their peers. They participate less often in activities and tend to spend more time sitting.
Support, comfort and stability are required so that they do not tire but can concentrate well. A therapy chair can be adapted to your child's individual needs with different seating surfaces and backrests. This makes it easier to sit upright and remain attentive.
Children with mobility impairments have different needs due to their specific disability. They benefit from a therapy chair.
Because of their handicap, they often have problems with balance, muscle weakness, paralysis, pain and fatigue. Many cannot move freely and have a limited range of action. To adopt an under-supportive sitting posture, they need stability, safety and comfort.
A therapy chair offers a supportive seat, options for manual or electric seat height adjustment, a supportive backrest, armrests and a braking system. Whether in the classroom or during leisure time, the chair allows children to better engage and participate in everyday activities.
In particular, an uncomplicated electric height adjustment can be used quickly and easily by the child itself. If the seat fits the table height perfectly, children don't tire as quickly and playing and learning is simply more fun. It often turns out that the chair makes them more active. They move around while sitting or use it like a walker to be mobile indoors.
For children who quickly become restless or have concentration difficulties due to ADD /ADHD, a normal chair does not provide sufficient support.
You need more comfort, stability and support for the right sitting posture. A few little extras help you focus: A height adjustment so your feet are firmly planted on the floor or a support. Specially shaped and padded seat and back surfaces for more stability. And an easy-to-use brake that gives children a sense of security.
A therapy chair can always be adapted to the child's personal needs. This applies to the seat height as well as to practical accessories, e.g. an electric brake. For those who prefer it simple, there are chairs with just a few important adjustment options - for maximum concentration in the classroom.
"I can do it all by myself!" - Children with disabilities also want as much freedom and independence as possible at home, in kindergarten, at school or in institutions. A therapy chair is therefore an important companion for them. It provides security and support for everyday activities with family and friends, such as eating, doing homework or playing.
All children want to be "like the others" and sit on a chair that is similar to the other chairs in the classroom. That's why a special school or therapy chair is not so different from an ordinary school chair. Most children accept their special chair well once they realize the benefits it brings. Classmates and friends accept the therapy chair once they have learned more about it and know what purpose it serves and exactly how it works. So it is important to talk to each other about the subject.
In kindergarten as well as in rehabilitation and care facilities, the chair is a useful helper for any activities that take place while sitting. It also promotes children's mobility with its large, lightweight casters as well as the push bar and a central brake for caregivers.
At school, a therapy chair allows adaptation to very different desks thanks to electric or manual height adjustment. Children with and without a handicap are therefore always at eye level.
To meet the demands of everyday life, a therapy chair must be robust. It should be easy to operate and adaptable for a wide range of activities. Safety is also an important consideration. This applies not only at home, but especially where other children and caregivers handle the chair. A simple, safe brake is therefore highly recommended.
Teachers also want a simple and safe chair, as they have to take care of many children at the same time. It should be easily adaptable to the child's needs as well as different activities. A therapy chair can "grow" with the child. Seats and backrests are easily changed depending on the size and individual need.
For parents, the focus is on ensuring that their child sits well and can participate in all activities at school and at home. They want an uncomplicated model that they can easily adjust in height. The chair should also promote the child's mobility by allowing him to push himself off with his feet or be wheeled around the house by his parents.
The ergonomics must be right. - This is especially true for children with disabilities, because they spend a lot of time sitting. However, good ergonomics is not a specific sitting posture, but rather a change to different sitting positions for a wide range of daily tasks.
Use the seat and backrest adjustment options to vary the child's sitting posture and adjust the seating position depending on the activity.
The child should sit as close to the table as possible so that he or she can comfortably attend to his or her task without having to bend or strain the back and neck area too much. Also make sure that the height setting and seat angle are correct.
It is important to carefully review the personal needs of the child before deciding on a particular chair and appropriate accessories. It is advisable to seek professional advice here. A therapist or other caregiver should always support the child later in adjusting the chair correctly. Keep in mind that the seating position is optimally adapted to the child's current activity!
Stability is crucial for activity. Ensure a neutral pelvic position. Support this stable sitting position with the appropriate adjustment of the seat and good foot contact with the footrest or floor. The neutral pelvic position is important so that the lower part of the body forms a stable base and muscles and joints are used optimally.
Soft padded ergonomically shaped seats and backrests are recommended for even more support and comfort.
A perfectly fitting backrest promotes the stability of the body. Therefore, pay attention to the size, because a backrest with too small a support surface reduces stability. Use the backrest as well as the armrests and the table as supports.
To counteract lower back pain, choose an adjustable backrest. Adding a seat tilt makes it easier to maintain an upright posture and get into forward lean. The ability to actively lean forward is critical for many activities.
SEAT HEIGHT: Make sure the child's feet are flat on the floor or footrest.
BACK REST: Adjust the height of the backrest so that it primarily supports the lower back.
SEAT TILT: Most children use the seat in a "neutral" position. Forward tilt supports an upright, active posture. The backward tilt supports stable sitting.
FOOT SUPPORT: Make sure that the child's feet are on the floor or on the footrest. This is the only way to ensure sufficient balance and stability.
ARM REST: The shoulders should be relaxed. The arms rest on the armrests to avoid shoulder pain.
The better the seat width fits, the more upright the child sits in his therapy chair.
The seat width is determined while sitting at pelvic height. It is measured from one outer side of the thigh to the other. Precise pelvic guidance is the ideal prerequisite for remaining stable during upper body activities.
Mentally add two centimeters so that there is still room for the clothes.
For the child to be able to sit properly and stably, it is also important to have an optimum seat depth. The seat depth is the distance between the back line and a point about two fingers' width above the back of the knee.
This gives the lower legs enough room to move and keeps them well bled.
The child's feet should be at a 90° angle on the footrest or floor. Now measure the line between the back of the knee and the sole of the foot.
A therapy chair always has a height-adjustable seat with gas pressure spring or electric adjustment. It is best to seek professional advice on this.
Choose gas spring for children who can stand and walk, electric adjustment for children who are unable to do so.
A perfectly fitting back height is important so that the child adopts a healthy sitting posture and sits stably enough. The backrest of a therapy chair can be adjusted in position, height and inclination.
Seek advice to ensure that the chair really suits the child.
A lumbar support gives additional support to the lower part of the back during a wide variety of activities.
Thorax pads are suitable for children who need support on the sides and front of the torso. Height, depth and width are adjustable. They can be swung off to allow further movement.
A padded thigh guide is used to support the thighs from the front and the pelvis from the back. It can be individually adjusted in depth and angle. As a result, children sit stably and their range of movement is restricted as little as possible.
Both supports are suitable for children who need extra stability from the front and sides.
An abduction block guides the child's thighs and prevents the legs from rolling over, as this leads to an unstable, slouching sitting posture. This allows children to maintain a good and comfortable sitting position.
A pelvic belt is suitable for children who still need a lot of support when sitting. The belt provides optimal support for the pelvis and ensures that children do not slide forward off the chair. A four-point pelvic belt provides even more safety and stability.
For many children with disabilities, a headrest is very important. It provides safety and support during seated activities. For children who often move uncontrollably, the support prevents serious neck and head injuries. Height, depth and angle can be adjusted as needed for best possible head and neck support.
There are also useful accessories for the child's caregivers. The multi-adjustable push bar can be adjusted in height, depth and angle to suit the caregiver so that they can move the child over short distances without effort. The handle is simply removed in a few simple steps if required.
If children move around uncontrollably, they often can't sit at a table with other children as well. Others simply need a little more privacy or space for communication aids. A therapy table can be adjusted in height, width and depth to match the child's sitting position. It can be folded away and removed from the chair.
Many stakeholders are involved in the provision and use of assistive devices. In order to find the best possible aid for the child's development and participation in the respective environment, it is advisable to clearly document and describe the need.
For example, the following information is gathered:
The classification of motor impairments in children with cerebral palsy is based on the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS for short) of the ICF. The GMFCS system includes five levels. The classification is based on the ability for independent mobility and the need for assistive technology support. Parents can help with the classification, as they can usually assess their child well. GMFCS is simple and quick to use, requiring only about 15 minutes for experienced professionals.
Free walking without limitation; limitation of higher motor skills.
Free walking without walking aids; limitation in walking outside the home and on the street.
Walking with walkers; limitation in walking outside the home and on the street.
Independent locomotion limited; children are pushed or use e-wheelchair for outdoors.
Independent locomotion severely limited even with electrical aids.
Use the survey form from rehaKIND e.V. to document the provision of aids.
ICF means "International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health".. (The ICF is a classification of the World Health Organization (WHO), which was first created and published in 2001 and is considered a globally recognized standard. It describes the current functioning, activity and participation of a person in order to derive participation goals, support measures and process recommendations.
Aids are intended to ensure the success of medical treatment, prevent an impending disability or compensate for a disability. For the successful provision of an aid, an individual care concept must be created for the child.
For this purpose, the classification according to the bio-psycho-social model of the ICF is included. This model describes a current state of health and the interaction between the components. With the help of the ICF it is described what the child can do and what help and support he needs.
The ICF classification is used, for example, to request a supply of a therapy chair for children. The goal-oriented justification of the supply is always better than having to formulate an objection later. Example:
Health issue: Muscular dystrophy
Body functions and structures:
Activity: Within 8 weeks, be able to independently change sitting position by straightening the thorax and point to content on the board.
Participation: participate independently in school presentations directly on the blackboard or whiteboard
Environmental factor: Barrier-free classrooms with direct access to the blackboard, suitable aids (height-adjustable therapy chair for children) are available
Person-related factor: Strengthen self-esteem through active role in group work in school, motivation to actively participate in lessons available
In contrast to medicines and remedies, the prescription of medical aids does NOT burden the physician's budget. Aids are paid for by the health insurance fund. That is why the provision of an aid must be approved by the health insurance company in advance. Info for differentiation:
In fact, you can make many adjustments yourself if your child is no longer sitting well. These include, for example, the seat height and the positions of the backrest, footrest and armrests. However, have a professional make more complex modifications, such as changing the seat or backrest. Your child's therapist or a specialist dealer will certainly be happy to help.
Children who can hardly or not at all walk themselves are given a seat with electric height adjustment. They only have to press one button and are therefore relatively independent.