Research indicates that a student's academic performance is directly related to whether he/she is able to attend long enough to learn the information presented. Sitting in one position for long periods of time can be a real struggle for some children (and adults!) By providing children with opportunities to move and change position we increase a child's ability to pay attention by increasing the sensory input he or she is receiving.
There have now been a range of studies investigating the effectiveness of dynamic seating options on attention in class. They have all found that children demonstrated increased attention to task and improved academic performance by being permitted to move while still seated. Dynamic seating is a simple, practical, and relatively inexpensive strategy. There are a range of options available, all having different features:
* Move'n'Sit Cushion - We usually recommend this option when children need movement and they also have poor postural muscle tone. The wedge shape assists by tilting their pelvis, therefore assisting children to maintain better sitting posture. Available in blue.
* Disc-o-sit Cushion - This is a favourite as it gives the option of extra tactile input on one side, and none on the other. It can also be inflated by mouth, so it's easy to adjust the level of inflation to suit the child. Available in red.
* AllCare Air Cushion - This is a cheaper option. It has the tactile option on one side, but not the adjustable inflation. Available in blue.
* Stability Disc - This option has a smooth surface on both sides and comes in a range of colours.
* Sensory Seat Tactile Mat - This is an option that only provides tactile input, no movement - This time for the tactile seekers/movement avoiders!
* Howdahug Seats - These are much loved! They are ideal for mat time, where the other options above can be used for mat time as well as at the desk. The howdahug seats allow children to move while being fully supported and 'hugged' - the extra sensory input providing the calming some children need to focus.
* Senseez Vibrating Cushions - These are new and come in a vinyl range (5 designs) and a delightful Touchables range (4 designs). This time the sensory input is gentle vibration and this can be just the thing to help some children settle.