If you are the parent of a child with cerebral palsy, you know that finding adaptive seating for them can be a challenge. There are many types of cerebral palsy, and each child’s needs will be different.
This guide will learn about some of the best adaptive seating options for children with such a condition. Read ahead to get tips on choosing the right adaptive seating for cerebral palsy for your child’s needs.
What is Adaptive Seating for Cerebral Palsy?
This is a type of seating designed to meet the specific needs of children with such disorders. Because cerebral palsy (CP) can cause muscle control, coordination, and balance problems, traditional wheelchairs can be uncomfortable and challenging. On the other hand, adaptive seating is customized to provide support and stability for users with CP.
Besides ensuring a comfortable and safe ride, it can also help improve posture and breathing. As a result, it can play a vital role in the lives of people with CP by improving their health and quality of life.
There are many different kinds of adaptive seating available, and each one is designed to provide a different level of support. Some of them are used in wheelchairs, while others can be used in regular chairs.
Types of Adaptive Seating
The type of seat that is right for your child will depend on their specific needs. Some common types of such seating include:
- Positioning seats: These seats are designed to help improve the user’s posture and alignment. It can also assist with breathing and swallowing.
- Supportive seats: Supportive seats provide extra support for the user’s trunk and head. These seats prevent the user from sliding out of their seat.
- Tilting seats: These seats can be tilted to help position the user in a comfortable way for them. Tilting seats can help with pressure relief.
- Reclining seats: Reclining seats can be reclined to help the user get into a comfortable position.
- Custom seats: These seats are made to order and are designed to meet the user’s specific needs.
Benefits of Adaptive Seating for CP
There are many benefits of using them for CP:
Comfort and Safety
Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that it can help improve comfort and safety. Because these seats are designed to provide support and stability, they can help prevent injuries caused by falls or other accidents. In addition, adaptive seatings can also help improve posture and breathing. As a result, it can play a vital role in improving people’s health and quality of life with CP.
Easy Interaction with Peers
Another benefit of adaptive seating is that it can help children with such disorders interact more easily with their peers. Because traditional wheelchairs can be bulky and difficult to maneuver, they can isolate children with such conditions from their classmates.
However, these seats that can be used in regular chairs can help children with CP participate more easily in-class activities. This, in turn, can improve social skills and self-esteem.
Adaptive seating can also help children become more independent. For example, some of them come with a tray that can be used for eating or writing. This can help children with CP participate in activities that they might not be able to do otherwise.
In addition, these seats can also help get around more easily. This improved independence can lead to a better quality of life for children with such conditions.
How to Choose the Right Adaptive Seating for Your Child
When choosing suitable adaptive seating for cerebral palsy, there are many factors to consider. Some of the things you will need to think about include:
Type of CP the Child Has
The type of disorders your child has will impact their seating needs. For example, children with spastic CP will need more support than athetoid CP.
The type of seating your child needs will depend on their severity. For example, children with mild CP may only need a seat that provides extra support. However, children with severe symptoms may need a wheelchair with an adaptive seat.
Age and Size of Your Child
You will also need to consider the age and size of your child when choosing such a seat. For example, infants and small children will need a smaller seat than older children. In addition, you will need to make sure that the seat is the right size for your child’s height and weight.
Activity Level of Your Child
Another factor to consider is the activity level of your child. More active children may need a seat that provides more support than less active children.
There are many different adaptive seats available, and the right one for your child will depend on their individual needs. However, by considering all the factors listed above, you can narrow down your options and choose the best seat for your child.