Functional Seating for School-Age Children With Cerebral Palsy: An Evidence-Based Tutorial Purpose This tutorial is designed to teach speech-language pathologists (SLPs) best practices to support functional seating of children with cerebral palsy (CP) in the classroom and in school-based therapy sessions. This tutorial teaches SLPs to (a) recognize the positive effects of seating intervention, (b) identify the characteristics of functional seating ... Tutorial
Tutorial  |   April 01, 2011
Functional Seating for School-Age Children With Cerebral Palsy: An Evidence-Based Tutorial
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • F. Aileen Costigan
    The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • Janice Light
    The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • Correspondence to F. Aileen Costigan: fac3@psu.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Amy Weiss
    Associate Editor: Amy Weiss×
Article Information
Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / School-Based Settings / Tutorial
Tutorial   |   April 01, 2011
Functional Seating for School-Age Children With Cerebral Palsy: An Evidence-Based Tutorial
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2011, Vol. 42, 223-236. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2010/10-0001)
History: Received January 11, 2010 , Accepted July 29, 2010
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2011, Vol. 42, 223-236. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2010/10-0001)
History: Received January 11, 2010; Accepted July 29, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

Purpose This tutorial is designed to teach speech-language pathologists (SLPs) best practices to support functional seating of children with cerebral palsy (CP) in the classroom and in school-based therapy sessions. This tutorial teaches SLPs to (a) recognize the positive effects of seating intervention, (b) identify the characteristics of functional seating that may produce these positive effects, and (c) realize their role in supporting functional seating for school-age children with CP.

Method The research reporting positive effects of seating intervention for school-age children with CP is presented according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (World Health Organization, 2001). Recommended guidelines for functional seating for school-age children with CP are gleaned from the research evidence. The specific role of the SLP in providing functional seating for children with CP is then discussed.

Conclusion Seating intervention may produce positive body structure and function, activities, and participation effects for school-age children with CP when appropriate equipment is provided for weight bearing, the pelvis is positioned for stability and mobility, and the body is properly aligned. SLPs can support functional seating for school-age children with CP by communicating with professionals with seating expertise and by invoking and monitoring recommended guidelines for children with basic and complex seating needs, respectively.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Readers are referred to the Augmentative and Alternative Communication–Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (AAC-RERC) Webcast entitled “An Introduction to Seating and Positioning for Individuals Who Use Assistive Technology” at http://aac-rerc.psu.edu/index.php/webcasts/show/id/9 for further information. This work was supported in part by the SickKids Foundation—Children and Youth Homecare Network (http://www.sickkidsfoundation.com) and by the Canadian Occupational Therapy Foundation (www.cotfcanada.org).
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