Classroom seating for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: therapy balls versus chairs. Am J Occup Ther. 2003 Sep-Oct;57(5):534-41.

Schilling DL, Washington K, Billingsley FF, Deitz J.

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of therapy balls as seating on in-seat behavior and legible word productivity of students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Additionally, social validity was assessed to evaluate teacher and student opinions regarding the intervention. METHOD: A single subject, A-B-A-B interrupted time series design was employed across 3 students (2 males, 1 female) with ADHD. The study was conducted in a 4th grade inclusive classroom during daily language arts. During phases 1 and 3, the 3 participants and all other class members sat on chairs (in-seat on chair); during phases 2 and 4, everyone sat on therapy balls (in-seat on ball). Dependent variables were in-seat behavior and legible word productivity. Data were graphed and visually analyzed for differences between phases. RESULTS: Results demonstrated increases in in-seat behavior and legible word productivity for the students with ADHD when seated on therapy balls. Social validity findings indicated that generally the teacher and students preferred therapy balls. CONCLUSION: This study provides evidence that use of therapy balls for students with ADHD may facilitate in-seat behavior and legible word productivity.

PMID: 14527115 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]