Case Studies – Protac SenSit®

ADHD

A 13-year-old boy with ADHD: I can clearly see an improvement in all forms of contact and communication with the boy, and in his physical harmony, while he is undergoing occupational therapy in the chair, and afterwards. He spontaneously seeks out the chair, and he often pretends to have fallen asleep so he can stay in the chair when training is over. He is noticeably more tranquil and more cooperative, and is happier after having used the SenSit ball chair. And he often winks at me and says: “I’ll take this chair home with me one day, when you’re not looking.”

Anxiety

A client at a day centre: “I was taking part in a group activity when suddenly I had a serious panic attack. I paced the floor restlessly and was afraid that I would fall. The chair feels like a ‘cosy nest’ to me. The physical agitation gradually disappears, and the chair is comfortingly warm. After about 10-15 minutes, my panic eased. After about half an hour in the chair, I could rejoin the group. The wings of the chair are designed in such a way that it feels as if they are almost hugging you.”

Neurological disorders

A 64-year-old man suffering from multiinfarct dementia: It has proven virtually impossible to convince the patient that he needs rest. The team has tried a variety of strategies, mostly resulting in the patient protesting and not wanting to cooperate. Protac SenSit turned out to be a satisfactory solution – for him and for the staff. He found that the chair was good for resting in, because he did not have to lie down. The staff helped to make him comfortable, drew the curtains and made sure the room was quiet. Usually he has fallen asleep in the chair, and on a couple of occasions he slept for up to two hours. He has also sat down of his own accord in the chair when he needed a rest. The chair stood in his room for three weeks as part of his rehabilitation programme. Having a good long rest meant that he was more relaxed and coherent, which had a positive effect on his rehabilitation process.

Motor and mental restlessness

A four-year-old emotionally-challenged girl: The girl has severe physical and emotional anxiety problems that affect her daily life, but her agitation diminishes markedly when she has been sitting in the chair. She makes a beeline for the chair in the motor skills training room. After four to six minutes of sitting in silence and completely wrapped up in the chair, she will start to communicate. Her speech becomes significantly more coherent. Then, when we do the sensory motor activities, the girl is far more relaxed than she was before we introduced her to the chair. She often remains seated in the chair while doing activities that require eye-hand coordination – and the result is an improved quality in the training.

A six-year-old boy with an attention deficiency and physical agitation: After having used the chair a few times, he says: “Please tell my Mum where she can buy a chair like this.” He enjoys burying himself completely underneath the neck cushions and wings, and asks to have a ball blanket over him too. Seeing how much he enjoys the chair, his parents have tried to make similar seating for him, but as his mother says: “Eventually we will have to buy one of these chairs. It is the only thing that can make our son so calm.” The boy uses the chair at the end of every training session. It means that he is more tranquil, has improved concentration and is physically calmer when he leaves the training room – and he often remains calm for the rest of the day.

Mental disorders

Psychiatric department. A 20-year-old woman with mental issues and a history of attempted suicide is now hospitalised in a psychiatric department. During her hospital stay, she is prone to serious self-harm. Initially, this patient used the chair with the hospital staff’s encouragement, but gradually she has developed a strategy of her own for using the chair. She feels that she regains control of her body and mind and is better able to resist the temptation to self-harm. The chair is placed in her room so that she can use it as and when the need arises. The chair gives her a feeling of well-being and physical relaxation.

Developmental disorders

A 38-year-old man with an intellectual disability: The man lives in a residential unit with other people with intellectual disabilities and has his own room. He uses the Protac SenSit both in his room and in the communal areas. He prefers being in his room. He never stays in a communal area for more than half an hour at a time, and is generally considered restless. He has a ball blanket with large plastic balls and he loves using it every day. He has full mobility.

Staff at the unit have observed that he enjoys using the chair. He sits in the chair for a longer time than he would previously have sat in any other piece of furniture. He sits in the chair for half an hour to an hour and a half at a time. Staff have observed that he is less physically agitated, that he does not pace the floor as restlessly, nor as frequently, as he used to. He also spends more time sitting in the communal area.

The biggest advantage with the chair is that he does not have to sleep in order to achieve the relaxation that the ball filling can give. Whenever he uses his ball blanket during the day, he always lies down with it and gets sleepy, and usually dozes off. He sleeps more than enough at night, so he has no need for a nap during the day. The chair makes it possible for him to withdraw into himself and to receive stimulation without falling asleep. In other words, he is progressing towards active participation in communal activities. He is more awake and ready to take part in activities than if he had lain down with the ball blanket.