Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Therapy Cushions in the Classroom

The American Journal of Occupational Therapy published a small study on the use of therapy cushions during math class for 2 kindergarten students with autism. Using a single subject A-B-A-B-C design the children used a regular chair (A) - cushion (B) - chair (A) -cushion (B) - free choice (C) during math class followed by assessment of the teachers and children's preferences. The results indicated that no clinically relevant changes during in seat or on task behaviors were seen with the use of the therapy cushions. The researchers concluded that therapy cushions may not provide enough stimulation to be effective and further research was recommended.

Based on my experience, I have found wedges to be effective in encouraging upright posture for low tone children but not necessarily a change in behaviors.

Do you find therapy cushions to be effective for in seat or on task behaviors? To collect data on whether your sensory strategies are effective check out the The Scale of Sensory Strategies (S.O.S.S.) Tool Kit™

Reference: Caroline Umeda and Jean Deitz. Effects of Therapy Cushions on Classroom Behaviors of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. 10.5014/ajot.2011.000760 American Journal of Occupational Therapy March/April 2011 vol. 65 no. 2 152-159

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