Looking for a Occupational Therapy Bean Bag for Special Needs?
Bean bags work very well for therapeutic reasons and can help children with autism.
Studies have shown that bean bags help people feel more relaxed and open to treatment for many medical conditions.
This post breaks down the various ways bean bags help and offers suggestions on what works best.
So, lets get to it!
Upon their introduction into the mainstream, bean bags offered a fun and colourful addition to doctor’s offices, nursing homes, and schools.
Overtime, medical practitioners and teachers caught on to the potential of bean bags as occupational therapy tools.
Patients are more likely to engage and make progress if they feel safe and comfortable. Offering a specialised approach, bean bags provide patients and special needs individuals with a comfortable and welcoming environment.
Alongside doctors and teachers, therapists also began using bean bags in their offices. Soon, professionals across multiple industries incorporated bean bags into their practices.
For a long time, bean bags were customised and adapted to provide various furnishing options. Today,as demand grows, manufacturers are creating occupational therapy bean bags that also fulfil specialised needs.
Autism Bean Bags
Autism is a neurological brain condition that restricts children’s ability to understand the world around them. Children with autism might need constant care and supervision.
To avoid any unnecessary injuries or trauma to the child or the people around them, there is a need for strict care and special training.
Every autistic child is unique and unpredictable. Even after years of studies and the introduction of countless therapeutic tools, there is still a lot that doctors and researchers do not know.
The use of unconventional means, however, has never been out of the question. Eventually, doctors and teachers started to use bean bags to help autistic children relax and engage socially.
The fact that bean bag chairs have no fixed shape and can be adjusted and controlled by the child helped them relax.
The even pressure offers physical comfort that helps ease the constant external stimulation that agitates an autistic child’s mind.
Colours also play a vital role in calming autistic children –if you know the child’s preferred colour you can order a customised bean bag.
Medical Bean Bags
It is no secret that posture plays a major role in your overall health, especially in the long-run. There is an increasing demand for ergonomically designed furniture that naturally helps improve posture.
Most people have jobs where they are required to sit in the same place for hours on end. This lack of activity translates into back pains, joint problems etc. The inclusion of bean bags in the equation is an easy answer to these problems as they provide a comfortable and relaxing solution.
Bean bags are also a great piece of furniture for pregnant women. Most traditional furniture is very uncomfortable for women as they approach the end of their pregnancies. Bean bags offer a comforting and convenient alternative to chairs, sofas etc. Doctors even use bean bags to train expecting women for childbirth, as well as to calm distressed mothers.
Physiotherapists use bean bags as an alternative to cushions, mats, and manual cable raisers. Bean bags offer increased limb and back support, essential during physiotherapeutic exercises.
Therapeutic Bean Bag Chairs
Generally, an individual undergoing occupational therapy will also require some form of psychological therapy. For the longest time, occupational therapists and clinical psychologists relied on cushioned chairs and sofas to make their patients comfortable.
The mind plays a major role in helping people recover their motor skills and proper therapy can help them adapt to daily life. Clinical psychologists have found that patients tend to be more open and relaxed in bean bag chairs.
Occupational Therapists have also found the correlation between bean bags and more cooperative and willing patients.
Fortunately, just about any bean bag can be used as a therapeutic bean bag chair.
Special Needs Bean Bags
A lot of special needs children require occupational therapy. This includes children with Sensory Processing Disorders, Cerebral Palsy etc. These children, and even adults, need special care and to provide that care is a major challenge.
In such cases, each individual has their own needs and wants, and it is hard to adjust your practice according to every patient. Bean bags provide even pressure to the body, extremely important for children who are stimulated by their environment.
Practitioners who work with special needs individuals and children have found that the even pressure of the bean bag instills self-regulating emotions and calms the nervous system.
It reduces hyperactivity and decreases the chances of stress and/or anxiety attacks.
Usually, special needs bean bags tend to be larger in size, to accommodate the entire body. Extra-large bean bags are a great option as special-needs bean bags as they provide deep pressure on the entire body.
Can Bean Bags Help With Hip Dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia is a painful ailment, suffered by countless children and adults globally.
Without proper care, this condition can result in long-term skeletal problems. Individuals with hip dysplasia require seating that doesn’t apply too much direct pressure on their joints.
Bean bags apply even pressure across the body, as the filling adjusts around the weight and shape. This makes bean bags a great alternative to typical carriers that are used for children. Children with hip dysplasia can relax in bean bag carriers without any discomfort.
An addition of a pelvic harness helps secure the child, so they don’t move around much. The harness makes sure that the children don’t make any movements that might cause injuries.
Wipe-able Bean Bag Chairs
Occupational therapy requires excessive use of bean bags in several settings.
Constant use can cause dirt and germs to build up on the bean bags. It is important to keep them clean at all times so patients are protected against infections.
Cleaning bean bags should always be a priority and you should always buy bean bags that can be wiped down after use.
For example, Bliss Bean Bags are treated with Microguard. This inhibits the growth of mildew and mould. Bliss bean bags can also be cleaned with regular, household cleaning products.
However in most cases, just using warm water will do the trick.
Using bean bags in hospital settings where many people use them, means that they will constantly require cleaning.
You must make sure to thoroughly wipe down bean bags every day and give them a wash often.
• Dust can be vacuumed off the bean bag. Use a wet cloth to properly clean any residual dirt on the bean bag.
• Suede-covered bean bags require constant brushing. If there is a permanent stain, it will most likely go away after a thorough wash.
• For washing, use any standard detergent and wash the bean bag in warm water. Then dry the bean bag by patting it down.
• If it is a leather bean bag, you will need to use a leather conditioner every 3 months to keep it in optimal condition.
Tough Bean Bags
Everyone makes a mess now and then, no matter how careful and clean they might be. It is important to have tough bean bags that are built to withstand accidents.
For occupational therapy, you need to make sure you have a dirt and water repellent bean bag. Furthermore, you need to make sure it is stitched properly so there are no outlying strings of fabric. The zip of the bean bag should be of good quality so it doesn’t malfunction
As long as you have a tough bean bag, you can use it anywhere, for whatever purpose you need. In occupational therapy, there are all sorts of patients with special, and often unpredictable, needs.
Good quality bean bags are tough and resistant to all intended and unintended attempts at spoiling it.
Durable bean bags are especially important when working with special needs children. For example, an agitated child might bite the bean bag in the middle of a temper tantrum or anxiety attack.
For the safety of the child, it is necessary for the bag to be able to withstand extreme pressure and stress.
Bean Bags have been used in occupational therapy for a while now.
Up until quite recently, traditional bean bags were re purposed for therapeutic usage. However, companies recognised the niche in the industry and have begun working to create therapy-specific bean bags.
Solutions to help with occupational therapy is increasing sought after, which is precisely why these specialised bean bags are being designed to offer much-needed relief and comfort.
Please feel free to reach out as we would be happy to help with any questions you have about bean bags for use in any medical setting.