ISS 2017 Program


Pre-Symposium Workshop dot Symposium Day 1 dot Symposium Day 2 dot Symposium Day 3

IC62: Evaluation of Saddle Seating for Children with Special Needs

Seating problems in children with movement disorders requires individual adjustment, careful choice of device, trial and adaptation to the child's needs.

Non-functional position can be: Pelvis tilted backward, hips adducted, feet placed in front of the knees, thoracic spine with an increased kyphosis and cervical spine with an increased lordosis, head not in midline , trunk asymmetrical, arms affected by pathological patterns.
Research has shown that a functionally active sitting position is created by neutral pelvis and open hip angle, slightly abducted hips, feet positioned under or just behind the knee, trunk in a good posture and free to move in different directions.

In our experience the Posture and Postural Ability Scale (PPAS) is useful for comparing seating postures created by different chairs and saddle seats.

In the seminar, we will show case studies where the PPAS is used to compare traditional seating versus saddle seating.

Over the years, we have personally observed and evaluated many children for their seating and positioning needs. We firmly believe that in the absence of respecting the hips, many children are presenting in their more traditional type seating with compromised postures leading to respiratory and GI complications. Saddle seating is an excellent alternative type seating that can help us to “take the work out of sitting” for some of these children.


Learning Objectives:



Sharon L Sutherland (Pratt), PT
Seating Solutions, LLC
Longmont, Colorado
United States

Sharon has specialized in the field of seating, positioning and mobility for the past 28 years. Graduating from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland as a Physical Therapist, Sharon has experienced many aspects of the seating and mobility service delivery model. She offers clinical consultation to clients, clinicians and manufacturers worldwide and has given over 800 presentations on seating and mobility. Known to many as a dynamic and highly energetic speaker, Sharon’s knowledge and experience makes her a skilled clinician and instructor.

Kristine Westby

Lotte Wemmenborn, Physiotherapist, author, educator
Lunde, Sweden



    1. Myhr, U. & Wendt, L. (1991). Improvement of functional sitting position for children with cerebral palsy. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 33.3, 246-256.
    2. Rodby-Bousquet, E., Persson-Bunke, M., & Czuba, T. (2015). Psychometric evaluation of the Posture and Postural Ability Scale for children with cerebral palsy. Clinical Rehabilitation June 30th.
    3. Pope, P.M. (2007). Severe and complex neurological disability; management of the physical condition. Edinburgh: Butterworth-Heinemann/Elsevier.

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