Wheelchair and Orthotics Clinic Evaluations and Fittings


Children Who May Benefit

Our therapists evaluate all children, from newborn to eighteen, with a variety of diagnoses including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, traumatic brain injury, stroke, muscular dystrophy, osteogenesis imperfecta, cancer, amputation, and Down syndrome.

Children who are patients at PPT and who could benefit from a custom designed wheelchair or custom designed orthotic can participate in the monthly wheelchair and/or orthotics clinics.

Children may require the support of a specially designed seating and mobility system that will optimally promote function and mobility, while providing external support to maintain appropriate postural alignment and control. Custom seating and mobility for a child must be done with careful consideration of the rapid changes that a child will undergo over the course of the next 5 years (the usual funding cycle for custom wheelchairs), including growth, changes in strength and range of motion, as well as the changing social-emotional needs of the child and family.



Progressive Pediatric Therapy uses an interdisciplinary team approach for each evaluation. This team includes the child and family, a pediatric occupational or physical therapist, and a trained adaptive seating specialist or trained orthotist.  This team of professionals works together to identify current and future equipment needs and goals.

The team provides detailed recommendations for custom manual and power wheelchairs, positioning equipment, or other related equipment. Together with the family, we develop specific goals to help with positioning and mobility throughout the child’s natural environment. During the evaluation, the team may assess the child’s need for other equipment such as bath chairs, standers, or feeding chairs.

Once the wheelchair or orthotics evaluation is completed, we send the report to the family, the referring physician, and to the child’s healthcare funding source. Once the custom wheelchair or other adaptive equipment or orthotics is received, the vendor and the therapist meet again with the child and family for the fitting, at which time adjustments and modifications are made to ensure that the child is appropriately positioned. We also train the family or caregivers on the equipment use, safe transfer techniques, and how to break it down for transportation in the car, if necessary.

Objectives of Custom Seating and Orthotics

  • Increase comfort and function
  • Decrease the progression of deforming forces on a growing body (i.e. contractures, scoliosis, etc.) through optimal postural alignment
  • Provide mobility and promote improved exploration and social interaction 
  • Encourage emerging motor and cognitive skills
  • Increase independence in self help skills and activities of daily living
  • Enhance breathing and digestion
  • Minimize pain and discomfort
  • Adjust for growth changes
  • Help carryover therapy goals
  • Be user-friendly, be child-friendly!

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