Nathan's Chair

Nathan's Chair

Nathan’s parents met with his teacher to discuss how 6-year old Nathan could be supported to sit still for group learning.

The teacher explained that Nathan had difficulty sitting cross-legged on the floor with the other students because he needed to move constantly. She said that sitting on the floor for group learning was a big part of primary school life, not just in class, but also in school assemblies and concerts. His parents explained that Nathan found it hard to sit still in many situations, due to sensory issues, and that being close to other children made it more challenging for him.

The teacher suggested adjustments that she thought might assist Nathan to sit quietly, such as a squeeze ball for his hands or a bean bag. Nathan’s parents explained that Nathan had a unique chair at home – ‘Nathan’s chair’ – which was a signal to him he had to sit still. It worked quite well for limited periods of time.

Nathan’s teacher wondered if a chair would be feasible for Nathan when other students were sitting on the floor, and if it would separate him too much from the group.

After more discussion they agreed that the teacher would introduce a floor-time chair for Nathan during floor-time and position it as close as possible to the children sitting on the floor, but at the side.

The teacher said she would monitor the impact of the adjustment and asked Nathan’s parents how they would like to be kept informed, and they agreed email was best.

The teacher emailed Nathan’s parents a week later to report that the floor-time chair was working well in supporting their son to sit still and engage in group activities, and that all the teachers now knew that Nathan needed his chair for floor-time and in school assemblies. She also said that a teacher had offered to trim the legs of the chair over time, so that Nathan would gradually be brought closer to the floor. If they had no objections, she intended to implement this further adjustment.

By the end of the year, Nathan’s chair, now just two centimetres high, was still present for floor-time and school assemblies, but rarely used. Nathan usually sat cross-legged on the floor with his classmates, but Nathan’s floor-time chair remained nearby, in case he needed it.