Charlie showing how not to sit! (aged 8)
Hypotonic children do not sit well. Fact. Left to their own devices they either W sit or they slump, slop, take up any available support, and generally do NOT sit well. When you think about how much of a school day a child has to sit.. working, at circle time, having lunch.. sitting places great demands on a body that doesn't have the tone to do this. We discovered this pretty early on with Charlie, whose characteristic posture is a very curved back, head hanging back, or alternatively W sitting, the posture detested by physiotherapists world wise for its affects on hips.
So pretty early on our Occupational Therapist introduced us to supportive seating.she started with a Trip trap chair , which is pretty much a wooden high chair with additional supports and so nice I would have liked a set for my dining room! However Charlie outgrew that by the age of 5 and so we moved on to more 'specialist' looking seating...
For school Charlie has a Smirthwaite Brookfield Chair. This is a chunky wooden chair that isn't an ornament anywhere it sits..however it is very functional for school work. It is an upright chair that supports Charlie's spine and has lateral and thoracic pads to keep him in a good position at the school table, and at circle time. It's on wheels so that it goes where he does!! When he is seated in this chair he also has a slanted writing board to help him with fine motor control.
A Samba chair..Charlie loves his!
Charlie used to have Brookfield at home too. However after last years growth spurt he was reassessed and now has the most fantastic supportive seating which he uses at home for eating, working at the computer..anything that needs a seat! It is Samba chair. Tilt in space with electric rise and fall, it fits under any surface as it can lower to near ground level or up high enough for any kitchen bar stool style table. With support galore it truly is a great piece of kit, which hopefully will last a few years! Charlies chair is all dark grey as we wanted an 'office' look and it is very comfy. Some where I have a picture of him in it, but this is how it looks!
Seating is important in order to maximise a hypotonic child's function and assessment by a suitably experienced Occuptional Therapist is vital to make sure your child gets what he needs.
Another issue..on the next page is braces, also known as splints, AFOs.. support those floppy feet!