Thursday, November 13, 2008

In addition to the expensive, custom equipment we use with students in classrooms, remember that we can often use everyday, reasonably-priced positioning devices as well.

This preschooler has difficulty sitting independently and tends to lean into any person or other support he can trust to keep him secure. When I noticed how attentive and cautious the classroom instructional assistants were in this particular setting I thought we might be able to wean him a little from his dependence on others for sitting balance.

If you look closely you'll see that he is sitting on a wide-based, plastic footstool. It's the perfect height for him to be 90-90-90 at his hips, knees and ankles. His aide does not leave him when he's on the footstool. After modeling how to physically cue him to sit uprightly for several story times in the classroom, I worked with the aide on doing the same for him. The next week she proudly told me how much his balance had improved. Did I already tell you that she never leaves him alone? That's the key--you have to get a good sense of what the adults will do when you're not around.

One nice feature of using this small footstool is that it allows him to get close to activities, as shown by him putting those famous pumpkins on the fence, right next to a standing classmate.

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