Functional Seating for School-Age Children With Cerebral Palsy: An Evidence-Based Tutorial Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • PURPOSE: This tutorial is designed to teach speech-language pathologists (SLPs) best practices to support functional seating of children with cerebral palsy (CP) in the classroom and in school-based therapy sessions. This tutorial teaches SLPs to (a) recognize the positive effects of seating intervention, (b) identify the characteristics of functional seating that may produce these positive effects, and (c) realize their role in supporting functional seating for school-age children with CP. METHOD: The research reporting positive effects of seating intervention for school-age children with CP is presented according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (World Health Organization, 2001). Recommended guidelines for functional seating for school-age children with CP are gleaned from the research evidence. The specific role of the SLP in providing functional seating for children with CP is then discussed. CONCLUSION: Seating intervention may produce positive body structure and function, activities, and participation effects for school-age children with CP when appropriate equipment is provided for weight bearing, the pelvis is positioned for stability and mobility, and the body is properly aligned. SLPs can support functional seating for school-age children with CP by communicating with professionals with seating expertise and by invoking and monitoring recommended guidelines for children with basic and complex seating needs, respectively.

publication date

  • April 2011