About Our Program
Patients who struggle to move may need more than just a wheelchair. They may need specialized mobility equipment. The Seating Clinic at Kennedy Krieger Institute helps people with special needs find seating systems that optimize their mobility while ensuring safe and effective positioning, so they can participate fully in activities of daily living.
Properly fitted mobility systems offer multiple benefits, including:
- Increased access, comfort and ability to participate in activities of daily living.
- Maximum independence within the home, school and community environment.
- Increased participation in self-care, social, educational and vocational activities.
- Improved symmetry, trunk control and alignment.
- Reduced risk of secondary conditions caused by improper positioning, such as scoliosis, muscle contractures and pressure ulcers.
- Positive impact on respiration, blood pressure, tone, skin integrity, bladder and bowel function, swallowing, eating and other oral-motor skills.
The Seating Clinic includes skilled specialists with expertise in determining the solutions that best meet the needs of our patients and their families. Our team consists of:
- Occupational and physical therapists with special training in seating issues and technologies
- On-site rehabilitation equipment specialists
- Referring physicians
- Clients and caregivers
What to Expect
During an initial evaluation, therapists identify the primary reasons for the appointment and list all the factors affecting the patient's mobility and equipment needs, such as:
- Musculoskeletal alignment and function
- Functional ability, such as the ability to self-propel
- Skin integrity
- Transfer status
- Pain levels
- Status of current equipment
- Home accessibility needs with recommendations for modifications, if needed
- Nutritional status and risks
- Transportation considerations
For some equipment, therapy trials may be available for demonstration.
During the evaluation, the therapists work with the family and rehabilitation equipment specialists to recommend the most appropriate equipment to meet the goals of the individual. Necessary documentation to assist with equipment authorizations for insurance coverage is provided.
Delivery and Follow-up:
Once the equipment arrives, patients and their families visit the clinic for an extensive customization, fitting and training session to ensure that goals were met.
During this session, our staff teaches patients and their families how to assemble and disassemble the equipment, make minor adjustments, provide guidance to facilitate transfers and review maintenance, safety and care considerations. Follow-up visits are necessary to guarantee that the equipment maintains a proper fit in case of growth or medical changes.
The Seating Clinic at Kennedy Krieger Institute provides mobility systems for patients of all ages and work with all types of children and adults. Diagnoses we see most often include:
- Brain Injury
- Cerebral Palsy
- Genetic Syndromes
- Limb differences and amputations
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Neuromuscular disorders
- Spina bifida
- Spinal cord injury*
*Individuals with this diagnosis are seen by a specific seating team through the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury.
Our therapists provide specialized evaluations for complex or custom medical equipment, including:
- Custom manual wheelchairs*
- Wheelchair seating components, such as specialized backs, pressure-relieving cushions, headrests, etc.
- Bathing equipment
- Toileting equipment
- Adaptive strollers
- In-home positioning chairs
- Gait trainers
- Recreational mobility equipment
*Power mobility needs are referred to the Institute's Assistive Technology Team.