The SitRite chair might be for you.
After sending parents to the Stokke website for years, it became clear that this chair wasn’t “all that” for every kid. No armrests, a really hard seat, and once a child pushed away from the table or desk, they needed an adult to help them get closer to the writing or typing surface again. Even if they were strong enough to move the chair, they had to get up to do this, and place it in the right spot for good posture. And good seating can make a huge difference for these kids.
The best thing? You don’t have to remind a child to fix their posture, or ask them why they keep getting up or fidgeting. Good seating allows them to finish their homework or their dinner in peace.
The SitRite chair isn’t perfect, but it is a fine option for a lot of kids. Not cheap, but not as expensive as the Stokke, it is on wheels, and….it has a footrest! The footrest is really only useful for the smaller kids whose feet don’t reach the floor, but still! Occupational therapists know how much activating your core by weight bearing through your feet, not just legs, helps stabilize posture and increase alertness. A footrest can be the answer.
Because this chair is made for kids, it is not a good choice for use with a standard-height desk or table. Use a surface that is made for kids, or has the ability to be lowered to the correct height.
The SitRite chair has the option of a swivel seat, and it is on wheels. There isn’t a non-wheeled option that I can see. Any chair on wheels or with a swivel seat can become entertainment for the wrong child, so think through the choice to allow the seat to swivel. It is possible to disable the swivel feature on this chair.
Another desirable feature is the ability to alter the seat depth. Seat depth is the distance from the edge of the seat, under the child’s knees, to the back of the chair. A chair with a too-short seat depth doesn’t support the thighs well, decreasing stability. A chair whose seat depth is too long will not allow a child to bend their knees at a 90-degree angle so that they can correctly activate their core.
This chair has armrests, and they appear long enough for a child or short teen. The seat and back covers have a leather option, making for easier cleaning but a slippery-er surface. Not every hypermobile child has enough postural control while sitting on a smooth leather seat, so before you think this is a great choice, watch them sit on your mom’s leather sofa or chair. Fabric has a bit of texture, and can act as a small amount of “grip” on a hypermobile child’s tush. TBH, I would spray a water/stain-repellent on a fabric back and seat out in the garage, and spot treat the stains.
A caveat…this chair is very difficult to move once your child is sitting in it. If they get up and down, or if you aren’t around to slide them into the table/desk, they could end up sitting on the edge of the seat to reach their paper or laptop.
So make sure that this isn’t a huge problem. Many of my little customers will never realize that they are too far from the page to write well, or even to see well. They will drape themselves forward or get up in frustration without knowing where the frustration is coming from!
Want more information about chairs for your hypermobile kid? Read Need a Desk Chair for Your Hypermobile School-Age Child? Check out the Giantex Chair and Why Using a Chair Correctly is SO Difficult for Hypermobile Kids and Adults.
Still looking for more information on helping hypermobile school-age kids succeed?
I wrote a book for you!
The JointSmart Child: Living And Thriving With Hypermobility Volume Two: The School Years is filled with practical strategies to make life at home and school easier, safer, and more relaxed for everyone. When you know what makes a difference, picking the right chair, sport, musical instrument, and bike gets simpler. When you know how to speak to a child’s teacher or physical therapist to get results, you feel empowered, not exhausted.
My book has useful forms and checklists you can bring to an IEP meeting so you don’t forget the most important points, and you look like a pro! There are even fun activities like simple cooking projects that build fine motor skills while making your child feel like a chef!
Volume Two: The School Years is available as a printable e-book at Your Therapy Source and as a read-only e-book or a useful paperback (you know you will want to highlight things, and write in the margins!) on Amazon.com .