Here's how I use a footstool in my pediatric PT sessions:
- For children who are just learning to sit with trunk control, I like to have them 90-90 sit on the stool so that they can practice sitting without trunk support, but with proximal stability.
- A footstool is a perfect height for small children to use to support themselves as they practice tall kneeling. I have found that using a coffee table just encourages them to pull to stand.
- I will have children practice seating themselves on the stool to develop body awareness and motor planning skills.
- I have children step up onto the stool to build lower extremity strength and to help them learn how to step up onto curbs and up stairs.
- I have children step down off of the stool to work on eccentric control of their lower extremities so that they can step down from curbs or stairs safely.
- When families don't have stairs in their homes, I use a footstool and a piece of study furniture to mimic 2 steps.
- I'll have kids stand with one foot on the floor and the other on the stool to introduce single-limb stance.
- When testing with the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales - II, or when practicing jumping down from an elevated surface, the footstool comes in handy. If you can, try to find one that is 7 inches high (or as close as possible) so that you can use it for standardized testing.
This one is nice because it folds, but it's 8 1/2" high, so you can't officially use it for the PDMS-II.
This one is nice and safe and sturdy, but a bit pricey. It's only about 6" high, so again, you can't officially use it for the PDMS-II unless you place it on a 1" high surface first.