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Wheelchair Seating Assessment: Positioning the Upper Extremities

presented by Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

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Disclosure Statement:

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Accreditation Check:

Do the upper extremities really require positioning? Muscle weakness, paralysis or uncontrolled movements may need to be addressed by the wheelchair seating system. This course will present specific positioning needs and suggested interventions. By providing adequate support and control of the arms, the seating system can provide postural support, protect the shoulders from injury and limit uncontrolled movements.

Meet Your Instructor

Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

Michelle is an occupational therapist with more than 30 years of experience in the area of assistive technology. She is the former clinical director of the Assistive Technology Clinics of the Children's Hospital of Denver and has been in private practice at Access to Independence, Inc., for more than 15 years. Michelle's work in assistive…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Positioning the Upper Extremities: Providing Additional Support

This chapter will present scenarios where additional postural support is required for the upper extremities, such as with muscle weakness and paralysis. Suggested strategies will be presented. Goals of addressing this need will also be presented which can, in turn, be used as justification for seating interventions in documentation. Providing adequate postural support can protect shoulder integrity and prevent the arms from dropping to the sides where injury may occur.

2. Positioning the Upper Extremities: Destructive Postures

This chapter will address several common destructive postures of the upper extremities, possible causes, suggested solutions and goals. These postures can lead to range of motion losses, loss of shoulder integrity and other orthopedic distortions. Strategies to achieve a more neutral alignment can minimize these risks.

3. Positioning the Upper Extremities: Uncontrolled Movements

This chapter will address uncontrolled movements of the upper extremities, including self-destructive movements. Positioning the upper extremities protects the client and others, and also provides stability.

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