Felicitas is able to interact with her kindergarten friends using her Everyday Activity Seat
Felicitas is a three year old girl who lives with her family near Bad Blankenburg in Germany. She has cerebral palsy, spastic hemiplegia, characterized by low muscle tone in her trunk and right-sided inattention. Felicitas attends an integrated special education day care centre where therapists, teachers and social workers work together to promote ability using the lovely motto, “How quiet the forest would be, if only the best birds sang!”
Felicitas’ cerebral palsy was diagnosed at one year old. Her condition means that she has difficulty co-ordinating movement and can only extend her trunk with the appropriate therapy or special seating support. Felicitas’ left side is stable, but she will almost totally neglect her right side if not encouraged to attend to it. Felicitas can crawl commando-style, but has little functional use of her arms. The combination of her moving on the floor plus reduced hand function means that the development of her communication and social interaction skills with her peers is restricted.
• Provide appropriate pelvic and lateral trunk stability to facilitate hand function
• Provide opportunities for social interaction with peer group
• Provide a seating system which can be used easily both in the day care centre and at home
Felicitas was assessed in the Everyday Activity Seat (size 1) for a period of three weeks to ensure it met her needs. The height adjustability of the hi-low base enabled Felicitas to interact with her friends. The pelvic support and activity tray meant that Felicitas was able to use her hands more effectively. After one week, trunk laterals were added, as when Felicitas was tired, she slumped to the right hand side (see bottom left photograph without laterals; middle and bottom right with laterals).
Felicitas’ therapist commented that the tool-free adjustment and the manoeuvrability of the seating system made it ideal for adapting for use at school and at home, especially for feeding, self care and social interaction.
The Everyday Activity Seat provided Felicitas with excellent pelvic and trunk stability, allowing her to concentrate on using her arms and hands more effectively, and interact with the group. It also proved to be easily adaptable for use at home, as well as the therapy/school environment.
Leckey would like to thank Otto Bock Germany for their assistance with this case history