Vol 6, 2017 CEU Article Review, Clients With Low Muscle Tone: Etiology, Issues And Wheelchair Seating Challenges


Author Tamara Kittelson-Aldred, MS, OTR/L, ATP/SMS
.1 CEU



Low muscle tone – most of us recognize it when we see or feel it, but where is it coming from and what is really going on? Physicians and therapists agree on the difficulty of assessing low tone; especially in young children it can be difficult to diagnose and determine the source of the problem. A deeper understanding of low tone symptoms, causes, possible complications and postural tendencies will advance our ability to provide optimal seating for clients who present with this issue.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Participants will be able to list 3 common pelvic, trunk and head postures seen in people with low muscle tone.
2. Participants will be able to list 3 potential orthopedic complications impacted by wheelchair seating and configuration.
3. Participants will be able to describe the interaction between tilt in space and recline when seating a person with low tone.

Tamara is an occupational therapist specializing in seating and wheeled mobility and 24 hour postural management, who writes and teaches on these topics in the United States and Peru. Tamara directs the Montana Postural Care Project, funded by the Montana Council on Developmental Disabilities, and Eleanore’s Project, promoting responsible wheelchair provision and postural care in Peru. She has provided positioning and mobility equipment services and 24 hour postural care for people with complex disabilities in Montana for 30 years. Tamara’s best teacher was her daughter Eleanore, who was born with multiple impairments – including low muscle tone.