ERIC Number: EJ762219
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Standing Tall: The Benefits of Standing Devices
Warner, Mark P.
Exceptional Parent, v37 n3 p56-57 Mar 2007
In the author's opinion as a pediatric physical therapist, with the exception of a wheelchair, there is no other piece of assistive technology that is more beneficial to children and adults with special needs than a standing device. Postural symmetry during standing and walking activities is extremely important for everyone. Very few children with special needs are able to sustain their body in a symmetrical standing posture for more than two or three minutes without support. A standing device allows children and adults with differing abilities to maintain a symmetrical standing posture for an extended period of time. This extended period of time allows the muscles to elongate and stretch, stimulating the new tissue growth needed to catch up to their bone growth. The other benefits are many and include: (1) increased bone density; (2) a more alert state; (3) increased cardio-pulmonary output; and (4) improved peer interaction. Children involved in standing programs have experienced other benefits such as regular bowel program, better head control, and more upper extremity function. It is especially important for adolescents to be involved in a standing program since their ambulation skills can begin to decrease as they get larger. At this age they are still growing and are at high risk for joint contractures. It does not matter what level of ability a child has; there are a wide variety of standers available that will meet or exceed a child's needs, no matter what age the child is. This article details the four basic types of standing devices available, and the abilities needed by the child for the best fit possible. Advice on funding is also offered. The author concludes by encouraging parents to seek the assistance of those who see the abilities of their special needs child rather than the disabilities.
Descriptors: Special Needs Students, Educational Technology, Physical Therapy, Assistive Technology, Physical Disabilities, Human Posture, Physical Health, Human Body, Children, Physiology
EP Global Communications Inc. 551 Main Street, Johnstown, PA 15901. Tel: 877-372-7368; Fax: 814-361-3861; e-mail: EPAR@kable.com; Web site: http://www.eparent.com/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A