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Research Article  |   September 2003
Classroom Seating for Children With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Therapy Balls Versus Chairs
Author Affiliations
  • Denise Lynn Schilling, MS, PT, was a graduate student at the time of this study in the Masters of Science Program, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. Mailing address: 4210 258th Avenue SE, Issaquah, Washington 98029; missdeesg@aol.com
  • Kathleen Washington, PhD, PT, is Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
  • Felix F. Billingsley, PhD, is Professor and Chair, Special Education, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
  • Jean Deitz, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Article Information
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / School-Based Practice / Children and Therapy in the Classroom
Research Article   |   September 2003
Classroom Seating for Children With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Therapy Balls Versus Chairs
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September 2003, Vol. 57, 534-541. doi:10.5014/ajot.57.5.534
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September 2003, Vol. 57, 534-541. doi:10.5014/ajot.57.5.534
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of therapy balls as seating on in-seat behavior and legible word productivity of students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Additionally, social validity was assessed to evaluate teacher and student opinions regarding the intervention.

METHOD. A single subject, A-B-A-B interrupted time series design was employed across 3 students (2 males, 1 female) with ADHD. The study was conducted in a 4th grade inclusive classroom during daily language arts. During phases 1 and 3, the 3 participants and all other class members sat on chairs (in-seat on chair); during phases 2 and 4, everyone sat on therapy balls (in-seat on ball). Dependent variables were in-seat behavior and legible word productivity. Data were graphed and visually analyzed for differences between phases.

RESULTS. Results demonstrated increases in in-seat behavior and legible word productivity for the students with ADHD when seated on therapy balls. Social validity findings indicated that generally the teacher and students preferred therapy balls.

CONCLUSION. This study provides evidence that use of therapy balls for students with ADHD may facilitate in-seat behavior and legible word productivity.