Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Alternative Classroom Seating for Children with Autism

Alternative Classroom Seating for Children with Autism

Recent research investigated whether regular classroom chairs, therapy balls, and air cushions affect the classroom behavior of individuals with autism.  The participants included 15 students with autism who were video recorded in three phases: sitting on their common chairs, air-sit cushions and ball chairs.  Using momentary time sampling, sitting times and on-task behaviors were quantified and compared during different phases for important changes over a period of 8 weeks.  Stereotyped movements, social and communication skills of the students were measured with the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale-Second Edition test,

The results indicated the following:

  • significant increases in in-seat behaviors in 86.7% of the students and on-task behaviors in 53.3% of the students (eight out of 15) when seated on therapy balls.
  • air cushions had no significant effects on in-seat/on-task behaviors.
  • significant decrease in stereotyped movement and increase in communication and social skills were observed in these students.
  • teachers preferred the use of the balls and/or air-cushioned chairs for their students.

The researchers concluded that therapy ball chairs facilitated in-seat behavior and decreased autism related behavior of the students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in class.

Reference:  SADR, N. M., Haghgoo, H. A., Samadi, S. A., Rassafiani, M., Bakhshi, E., & Hassanabadi, H. (2017). The Impact of Dynamic Seating on Classroom Behavior of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Iranian journal of child neurology, 11(1), 29.

Read more about In Class Sensory Activities and On Task Behaviors in Children with Autism.

Get 20 Alternative Seating Picture Word Cards for free.

Need more ideas and handouts for in class sensory activities?  Check out the titles below.


Wiggle Worms: A Guide to Alternative Seating for the Classroom digital download which includes all of the resources you need to begin implementing alternative seating strategies in a classroom.  Find out more information.

Cut and Paste Sensory Diet

Cut and Paste Sensory Diet  includes 2 sensory diet books, one for home and one for school and over 150 picture word cards to reinforce sensory diets at home and at school.  Find out more information.

Alternative Classroom Seating for Children with Autism

The post Alternative Classroom Seating for Children with Autism appeared first on Your Therapy Source.

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