Enabling Aoife to sit securely to participate in family mealtimes with her Everyday Activity Seat
Aoife (pronounced Eefah) is a six year old girl with Angelman Syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by learning disability, jerky movements and a happy, sociable personality. Aoife is an engaging, happy child with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes! She loves social interaction, although she can become over-stimulated easily. At such times she shows this through sensory behaviours such as giggling, hand clapping and rocking.
Aoife is able to walk with assistance, and while she is able to sit unaided for short periods, her short attention span means that she is likely to fall over. In terms of a physical assessment, Aoife has a flexible pelvis with no body asymmetries. Aoife’s abilities can be classified as level IV on the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) and level 4 on the Chailey box sitting scale.
Goals for Sitting
• Provide pelvic stability to enable maximum function
• Provide a secure, stable seat for safety during rocking movements
• Provide a high-lo option for family mealtimes
Aoife was assessed in the Everyday Seat (size 2) and it was adjusted to her individual body dimensions accordingly. The four-point pelvic harness was used to provide the desired pelvic stability. She does not require any further trunk supports, although she has a tray for table top activities.
Note Aoife’s asymmetrical posture in her Everyday Seat. This is not a problem, in fact it’s a positive sign in her case. It means Aoife has the option to move within her seat, not compromising the trunk and upper limb movement skills she has. It also allows her to remain safe and secure while she experiences this movement.
Aoife is secure and safe in her seating system when she is rocking and over-excited (as the photograph shows). However her movement is not inhibited because the pelvic harness provides the necessary stability, while the whole chair remains stable while she is moving. Best of all, the high-lo base means that not only can she join her family at the table at mealtimes, but at its lowest position, she is able to assist with her own transfers in and out.
Overall, the Everyday Seat enables Aoife to be safer, more independent, and interact with family life.