Whether you are grabbing a few more gifts to put under the tree or actively planning out updates to your child’s Distance Learning classroom, seating is an important element to consider. Seating not only depends on the activity your are doing and its demands but also your child’s sensory needs to remain alert and engaged. Below are some seating options and strategies on how to shop for something that fits your child’s needs.
Gaiam Kids Balance Ball Chair – Classic Children’s Stability Ball Chair, Child Classroom Desk Seating
Ball chairs that are mounted onto a platform provide and opportunity to bounce and wiggle without adding extra posture and balance demands. Bouncing helps to activate posture muscles against gravity to naturally facilitate an upright posture. The added back support provides a surface to lean into that helps with postural stability if your child often leans against surfaces for added support with fatigue. If your child seeks excessive movement in sitting, this chair may be okay for typing on the computer but not as helpful for allowing for organized movement while listening.
Quility Indoor Therapy Swing for Kids with Special Needs | Lycra Snuggle Swing | Cuddle Hammock for Children with Autism, ADHD, Aspergers | Ideal for Sensory Integration (Up to 77lbs, Red)
Lycra swings, while not ideal for using to sit at a desk, can be the perfect tool to provide deep touch pressure, rhythm, and postural support when practicing flash cards or reviewing for a test. A child can sit in a supported position, bounce, or engage in rhythmic swinging while thinking and listening. It can also be used in downtime as a vision break and place to destress from academic demands.
IRRIS Waterproof Bean Bag Chair Large Storage Bean Bag Oxford Chair Cover for Kids, Teens and Adults Lounger Sack Material: Cloth. Machine Washable Removable Slip Cover.(Purple)
Beanbag chairs come in all shapes and sizes. This one is shaped to support a more upright posture while others are better for leaning against in a Cozy Corner. For children who need added postural support or pressure on their bodies to feel grounded, this is a great option. It also is stable enough to reduce excessive leaning on surfaces and position changes while working, helping improve focus and attention. Height, shape, size, and fill are all important considerations before you purchase. All will have a significant impact on where you can use the beanbag chair. Will it become part of the reading corner? Cozy Corner? Or do you want it to be used instead of a desk chair?
Stools that rock without added back support are great for the child who rocks while looking at the computer or reading. Children who struggle with binocular vision issues sometimes use rocking as a way to help their eyes work together and support sustained focus. There are variations to this type of stool so make sure that you consider whether you need something that rocks in one direction or if your child moves in multiple directions and needs a stool with a round bottom. Movement is activating to the body but the level of postural demand is much higher with a stool like this so it is often not a match for kids who fatigue easily or excessively lean on surfaces versus fidgeting.
This seat comes in many colors. One of the good things about it is that children always have their feet on the floor and can adjust their body position easily when shifting their weight to reach for materials or shift attention back to their screen. The nice difference with this stool compared to a yoga ball with no back is that the flat bottom provides added stability so the chair doesn’t roll away if a child stands up for a minute to grab something. It’s a good balance between stability, postural activation, and facilitating natural movement without excessive postural demands.
There are so many options to choose from. So ask yourself these key questions:
Does my child lean on a lot of surfaces and need postural support to stabilize his body?
Does my child rock and fidget while listening or when in front of the computer?
Is my child strong and stable but needs lots of movement to focus or is my child quick to fatigue so needs access to movement but minimal postural demands?
There is something for everyone and maybe even several somethings. Just think about how many different chairs you use throughout the day. When would you like to relax in a recliner and when do you need a firm back support to help you sit upright? Everyone has preferences so observing your child’s behavior is key to setting up your Distance Learning seating arrangements!