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    Saturday, October 13, 2012

    Sensory Saturday--Seating

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      There are tons of seating options available that also provide sensory input. 

      Therapy Balls
      Therapy balls are great for kids who need an alternative seating option. Students need to be alert in order to balance their weight on the ball. I also use the therapy ball to provide proprioceptive input (deep pressure by rolling it firmly over a student who is laying on the carpet). A therapy ball can also be used for students who need vestibular input  (rocking back and forth or bouncing). 

      "Wiggle" Cushions
      I typically use these with my "wiggly" kiddos. Wiggle seats can give some of the same input as the therapy ball but are easier to implement in the classroom (especially in the general ed room) because they are smaller and don't stand out as much. There are a lot of varieties and textures. Last year I had a student who needed something to do with his hands when he was trying to focus but was easily distracted when given a fidget and didn't like using a fidget in general ed. Sitting on the wiggle seat he could rub the texture and it was more discrete and less distracting.

       Howda Hug
      I have a student who is unable to sit "criss-cross" on the carpet because he doesn't have the needed core strength. Additionally, he struggled with boundaries and would often be turned completely around by the end of activity. At first he used a preschool cube chair but I wanted something to help him sit on the carpet like the rest of the kids. The howda hug has been perfect for this. It provides a backrest for core support as well as a boundary.

      Like a therapy ball, a T-stool requires focus to balance. I have used the T-stool for those students who have not had success with a wiggle seat or therapy ball. A lot of students get frustrated at first with the T-stool because they are hard to sit on but when used correctly (intermittently with breaks) they work well for helping kids focus.

      Rocking Chair
      A rocking chair can be a way to provide calming, vestibular input and give students a break. 

      Bean Bag Chair
      A bean bag chair is a great place for a student to take a break and listen to music or read a book. The “hug” of the chair around students can provide some deep pressure input and for students who struggle with sitting due to weak core strength it gives their body a break too.


      Unknown said...

      We have the ball chairs (the first picture you had) and we LOVE them! They are super helpful for my kiddos :)

      - Sasha
      The Autism Helper

      Karlie said...

      Hey:) I just BOO'D you! Check out my post about it. As a little treat for being boo'd you can also pick out a treat from my TpT store...I know i don't have many options right now, but I hope you can find something you'll use:)

      We are ALL Special!

      The Gift of Autism said...

      We use a variant of the Howda Hug and we love it. Ours is a metal frame with blue denim covering. It provides the same sort of support but doesn't have the slats.

      I have also used a chair with back and side supports that help children with low muscle tone sit upright at a desk for longer periods.

      We've also used mesh back supports that go over regular chairs to provide support and sensory input. The mesh back supports came from a dollar store.

      I've never seen the T stools, I'll have to keep my eyes out for them.

      Allison Officer, M.S.Ed said...

      Sasha- we love the ball chairs but I have actually seen the tstool have the biggest impact. However, it isn't a strategy that can be used all day. The kids need a break because it is a lot if work to stay balanced!

      Amy- do you know the name of the seat you use with the back rest and side supports? We have a kiddo who needs those types of boundaries and we haven't found anything yet. The tstool you have to order from a special Ed catalog most likely. If you are looking for one I would try abilitations. I think that's where I found mine.