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Need for Additional Screening Prior to Trying a Power Wheelchair

Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS

July 21, 2015

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Question

Do you use a cognitive and/or vision screen prior to trying power wheelchairs?

Answer

I do not.  The main reason is a lot of the clients that I work with have cortical visual impairment, and as you know that means their visual skills fluctuate throughout the day, and it is very difficult to get a sense of what they are actually seeing.  Many people with fairly low vision and even some people with no vision, not usually young children, are able to use power mobility devices.  I try to see what this child can do with mobility opportunities, regardless of what a vision test may tell me.  Most vision tests look at acuity anyway, and I find a lot of my children have more perceptual issues.  Depth perception really does not develop until about crawling age in most children.  In children who have not experience with crawling, depth perception is usually not present or is very impaired.  I found that in my personal experience; I have not seen this in any research study; that after children have mobility experiences, sometimes for just a few weeks, depth perception can develop fairly quickly.

 


michelle lange

Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS

Michelle is an occupational therapist with 25 years of experience and former Clinical Director of The Assistive Technology Clinics of The Children’s Hospital of Denver. She is a well-respected lecturer, both nationally and internationally and has authored 7 book chapters and over 175 articles. She is the editor of Fundamentals in Assistive Technology, 4th ed. Michelle is on the teaching faculty of RESNA and the University of Pittsburgh. She is on the RERC on Wheeled Mobility Advisory Board. Michelle is a credentialed ATP, credentialed SMS and is a Senior Disability Analyst of the ABDA.


Related Courses

Wheelchair Seating: Considerations for the Hands-Free Sitter
Presented by Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS
Course: #3585Level: Advanced1 Hour
  'It was very well organized'   Read Reviews
Wheelchair seating is designed to provide postural support and alignment, stability for function and mitigate pressure issues. This course will address assessment and intervention when working with a client who can sit without the support of their hands, referred to as the ‘hands-free’ sitter.

The Seating and Mobility Specialist (SMS) Certification: An Overview
Presented by Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS
Course: #3586Level: Advanced1 Hour
  'Wow, good information in general'   Read Reviews
The Seating and Mobility Specialist (SMS) certification recognizes competence in assessment and intervention. This course will cover what this certification is, who the SMS is designed for, why it was developed, why the SMS may be beneficial to a clinician and how to acquire this certification.

Wheelchair Seating: The Mat Assessment
Presented by Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS
Course: #3590Level: Advanced1 Hour
  'Video demonstration'   Read Reviews
A key component of wheelchair seating evaluation is the mat assessment. This course will present the mat assessment, including supine and sitting, and will include case studies and videos.

Wheelchair Positioning: Pressure
Presented by Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS
Course: #3595Level: Advanced1 Hour
  'Liked the refresher for pressure injury staging as well as the different type of seat cushions'   Read Reviews
A main goal of wheelchair seating is pressure management, specifically to prevent development of pressure injuries. This course will present pressure injury definitions, staging, etiology and specific seating interventions.

Wheelchair Positioning: Postural Care
Presented by Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS
Course: #3596Level: Advanced1 Hour
  'It was great to learn more about sleep positioning when it is such an important aspect of our patients’ lives and often under addressed due to issues with funding'   Read Reviews
The goals of wheelchair seating include managing posture and pressure as well as providing stability for function. Postural care addresses positioning outside of the wheelchair, particularly during sleep, and can be used to improve the quality and duration of sleep, promote health and maintain safety during sleep, as well as to minimize, prevent and even reverse orthopedic changes.

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