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Research Article  |   February 1987
Effects of Adaptive Seating Devices on the Eating and Drinking of Children With Multiple Handicaps
Author Affiliations
  • Janet Bower Hulme, PT, is Associate Professor and Director, Physical Therapy Program, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana 59812
  • Jay Shaver, PT, is a staff therapist, Physical Therapy Associates Inc., Helena Hospital, Helena, Georgia
  • Sandra Acher, PT, is a staff therapist, St. Mary Hospital, Casper, Wyoming
  • Leslie Mullette, OTR, is a staff therapist, Shodair Hospital, Helena, Montana
  • Connie Eggert, OTR, is a staff therapist, Missoula Development Specialists, Missoula, Montana
Article Information
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Research Article   |   February 1987
Effects of Adaptive Seating Devices on the Eating and Drinking of Children With Multiple Handicaps
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, February 1987, Vol. 41, 81-89. doi:10.5014/ajot.41.2.81
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, February 1987, Vol. 41, 81-89. doi:10.5014/ajot.41.2.81
Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of adaptive seating on oral-motor functioning as it relates to eating and drinking in 11 children with multiple handicaps between the ages of 1 and 4 years. An assessment instrument with a behavioral base was used for the seven direct observations of each child’s motor behavior. During the first and last visit the parent or guardian filled out a pre– and post–equipment questionnaire. Evaluations were conducted every 6 weeks beginning 3 months before and ending 6 months after the receipt of the seating devices. An analysis of variance was used to analyze rating scale score data. A nonparametric sign test was used for the analysis of yes/no data. Other data were analyzed for frequencies and central tendencies. Sitting posture and head alignment during eating and drinking improved significantly. A significant increase in the frequency with which liquid and food was retained in the mouth was noted. A significant number of children progressed from bottle to cup drinking and from eating blended to chopped or cut-up food. The present research extends beyond case study and retrospective study reports to support the efficacy of the use of adaptive seating devices by children with multiple handicaps.