AlertSeat™ Articles

Video Shows Users in School and Therapy Settings 2

AlertSeat™ Is Now On Youtube

More than 800 million people worldwide visit YouTube every month. It is one of the most heavily visited websites on the Internet.

AlertSeat™ has been getting notice in educational and therapy circles. Now the entire world will get to see it on YouTube. The brief, yet comprehensive, production went up on the video-sharing website in December. It shows the innovative AlertSeat™ in classrooms and therapy settings and offers close-up views of the seat’s features. The voice-over narration cites a study from the American Journal of Occupational Therapy that found marked improvement in the behaviors of children identified with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) when they used a stability ball like the AlertSeat™ instead of a regular classroom chair. It also quotes a special education teacher, an intermediate school principle and an occupational therapist who have had experience with the seat. “Being on YouTube makes it possible for us to share details of the AlertSeat™ that no other medium can match,” said Howard Newman, president of Newman Adaptive and inventor of the chair. “Educators, therapists and parents can go there to see it in action.” Also shown is the AlertDesk, an adaptive work and play surface for exceptional children and the wheelchair-bound, which was developed as a companion to the AlertSeat™. Launched in 2005, YouTube has changed the way people receive visual information. With over 800 million unique visitors each month watching more than 4 billion hours of content, it is one of the most popular sites the Internet. In addition to traffic from computers, YouTube videos are also shared on Facebook and Twitter. Click here to see AlertSeat™ and AlertDesk™ on YouTube.

AlertSeat™ Enters Private School

Global Focus Energizes Harrisburg Academy

Harrisburg Academy provides a rigorous and challenging academic program. The Academy places its graduates in some of the finest colleges in the world. It uses the AlertSeat™ to help children in its early childhood programs who need it.

Children are children, wherever they go to school, subject to the same impulses and energies that can disrupt a classroom. That’s why the Harrisburg Academy, a private school in Pennsylvania’s state capital that aims to prepare its students “for the globally connected world of the future,” is experimenting with AlertSeats™. “I really do believe that the AlertSeat™ has a place in the educational setting,” said Kevin Muirhead, Head of Early Childhood and Lower Schools. Describing these alternatives to traditional classroom chairs as “beneficial for certain children,” Muirhead said that his programs use their AlertSeats for children who fidget or who need better focus to succeed in the classroom. Founded in 1784, the Harrisburg Academy is a co-educational, independent day school with 400 hundred students. Children can enter the school for its early childhood program and stay through high school. At every level, Harrisburg Academy is academically challenging and it takes special pride in being globally minded. It is one of just 15 schools in Pennsylvania to offer the prestigious International Baccalaureate Diploma. With that educational background, the class of 2011 scored acceptances in 71 different world-wide institutions. Because of its small size and low student to teacher ratio (8:1), Harrisburg Academy can focus on each student’s individual learning needs. And with its commitment to providing technology and other tools to aid learning, the AlertSeat™ fits right in.

Graduate Student Investigates Impact of Ball Seats

Minnesota Study Supports Effectiveness

AlertSeat Minnesota study
Exceptional students who used the devices like the AlertSeat in a graduate student’s study found “an increase in students’ on-task behavior.” Also reported were “achievement increase[s] in fluency, comprehension, addition fact scores, subtraction fact scores, and math probe scores.”

More evidence that special education students benefit from stability ball seating comes from Minnesota where a graduate student studied the impact of the seats on students in a classroom setting. Victoria Bill earned a master’s degree in Special Education from Southwest Minnesota State University after submitting a research paper entitled “Effects of Stability Balls on Behavior and Achievement in the Special Education Classroom.” Working with exceptional students, grades 7 to 12, who used the seats in a rural Gopher State school district, Ms. Bill found “an increase in students’ on-task behavior.” She also reported “achievement increase[s] in fluency, comprehension, addition fact scores, subtraction fact scores, and math probe scores.” Her 76-page thesis concluded that Student behavior may improve when using stability balls as chairs,” and that “most student average fluency rates and comprehension rates may improve when using a stability ball.” “Stability balls may be part of the answer for teachers to help their student be more successful in the classroom,” she wrote. Disabilities represented in her research included Specific Learning Disability (SLD), oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Seizure Disorder, Emotional Behavioral Disorder (EBD), Developmentally Cognitive Disabled (DCD), and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). While the AlertSeat™ brand was not yet on the market when the Minnesota observations were recorded, the devices used were similar. According to Howard Newman, inventor of the AlertSeat™, the graduate thesis findings are consistent with observations from classroom teachers, therapists and others who have experience with the seats in professional settings. Click here to read the entire dissertation. (Effects of Stability Balls on Behavior and Achievement in the Special Education Classroom)  

Young Users Report Satisfaction

AlertSeat™ Passes the Ultimate Test

In addition to written testimonials, first and second grade students at a South Carolina elementary school recorded their impressions in colorful drawings.

Kids not only benefit from using AlertSeats in classroom settings, they like them, too. “When you have ants in your pants, you can bounce on the ball,” reported one second-grader. “When you bounce on it, it helps you do your work,” she added. “You can get your wiggles out,” said another. The students’ comments are from letters written to Newman Adaptive, the company that manufactures the AlertSeat™. The testimonials represented the impressions of children in the first and second grades in a pilot program at Berkeley Elementary School, Moncks Corner, South Carolina, where the seats were put through their paces by the toughest of critics: Youngsters who used them. One little girl said that the AlertSeats in her classroom “made us feel special.” Another said, “When you bounce, it helps you do your work at the same time.” “It helps us work and think,” reported another tiny tester. “I like the AlertSeats because you can bounce on them and still pay attention,” said one letter writer. In addition to offering their opinions in writing, teachers asked the students to draw a picture of their AlertSeat. The colorful results are further evidence that the students enjoy the break from traditional hard-surface classroom seating. While teachers and therapists report behavioral and educational benefits from the AlertSeat, there is little doubt that these children like what it does for them.  

New Chairs are a Hit with 4th Graders

AlertSeat™ Pilot Conducted In Regular Classrooms

An intermediate school in south central Pennsylvania is among the first in the nation to replace

alertseat classroom
At Shippensburg Area Intermediate School, a classroom equipped with AlertSeats™ in school colors of maroon and gray keep things calm so that work can get done.

conventional chairs with AlertSeat in regular classrooms According to David Rice, principal of the Shippensburg Area Intermediate School, two fourth grade classrooms in his building have been equipped with the seats in a pilot program that he considers a success. “I see big changes,” he said. “They have a calming effect on students.” That means more attention paid to classroom tasks. And the kids “Were beyond excited to get them,” Rice adds. Shippensburg, a small town with a population of less than 6,000, is the home of Shippensburg University. The Shippensburg Area School District serves the town and surrounding communities in Pennsylvania’s verdant Cumberland Valley. The Intermediate School, built in 2007, educates 440 fourth and fifth grade students. There are 10 fourth grade classrooms and nine fifth grades. As part of a progressive school district, SAIS benefits from a commitment to technology. There are two computer labs in the building, two portable laptop carts, and every classroom is equipped with a SMART Board. Currently the school is piloting I-Pads and Kindle Fires with students and staff. Several staff members are also piloting wireless slates, handheld devices that allow them to interact with SMART Boards from anywhere in their classrooms. David Rice said that he first got the idea for trying AlertSeats™ in his school after seeing them successfully implemented in one of the district’s elementary classrooms where they were being used in an autistic support class. Evidence shows that they have a positive impact in such settings. The Intermediate School principal believed they might have similar effects in regular classes. Evidence from the Shippensburg Area Intermediate School indicates that he’s right.    

Devices Tested Are Similar to AlertSeat™

Evidence Based Research Study Supports Value of Stability Balls as Academic Seating

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder pay more attention and are better at remaining on task

alertseat kid

when their classroom chairs are replaced by stability balls, according to research conducted by a team from the University of Kentucky. “Stability Balls and Students With Attention and Hyperactivity Concerns: Implications for On-Task and In-Seat Behavior,” published in The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, reports marked improvement in the observed behaviors of children identified with ADHD, and clinically significant decline in scores on the Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Test (ADHDT). Teachers in classrooms where stability balls have been tried claim better attention and improved behavior of ADHD students. The Kentucky investigators set out to test the validity of those reports. They also wanted to expand on a 2003 research paper that looked at the effectiveness of stability balls. The study focused on 4th and 5th graders at an elementary school in central Kentucky. While all the students in the selected classrooms swapped their regular chairs for stability balls and all received the ADHDT, students classified as having a “high” or “very high” probability of ADHD were also the subjects of behavioral observation in school by graduate students. “This study supports what we have been finding in classrooms that use the AlertSeat™, said Howard Newman, president of Newman Adaptive. “We make the AlertSeats available for testing by schools because we believe that the benefits can be observed. The AJOT article supports that view.” To find out if your classroom or therapy setting qualifies as a test site for Newman Adaptive products, send your request to info@alertseat.com. WEBSITE LINK To read the entire American Journal of Occupational Therapy article, click here.    

AlertSeat in New Jersey school’s classrooms and therapy sessions

Archbishop Damiano School Remains True to Ancient Mission

Every day, the Archbishop Damiano School in Westville Grove, New Jersey, opens its doors to 165 students

with cognitive disabilities. The school’s mission traces its origins to the 16th Century when a man known as St. John of God founded a Catholic religious order dedicated to serving the poor and disabled. But despite its origins and its religious name, Archbishop Damiano is a non-denominational school. “All are welcome,” says Kate Flynn, the school’s principle. Students are drawn from communities throughout southern New Jersey, referred there when their home school district does not have a program that meets the child’s needs. “Many of our students are medically fragile,” said Ms Flynn. “Some are not ambulatory and many are non-verbal.” According to the principle, the school provides a nurturing atmosphere and the services each student needs to reach full potential. Starting with the basics of language development, motor development and socialization, the educational program at Archbishop Damiano extends to life skills and interaction with the community at large. As the end of school life approaches, vocational services and planning for life after school are emphasized. Archbishop Damiano was initially a test site for the AlertSeat, a device designed for children with developmental or behavioral disorders. The school subsequently placed two orders and the seats are now in use throughout the entire school. Ms. Flynn reports that it is used in classrooms, therapy sessions and physical education where students with sensory issues benefit from it. “We find it useful for those who have anxiety or who are hyper-active, and the children love it,” she said. “They may view it as a toy,” she adds, “but we view it as a therapeutic tool.” To find out if your classroom or therapy setting qualifies as a test site for Newman Adaptive products, send your request to info@alertseat.com. If you would like to test the effectiveness of AlertSeat™ in your educational or therapeutic setting, submit your request to info@alertseat.com. To learn more about the Archbishop Damiano School, click here.  

AlertSeat™ being tested in classrooms and therapeutic settings.

Reports Show AlertSeat™ Offers Attention Benefits

The AlertSeat™, an innovative seating device for developmentally and behaviorally challenged children that is

AlertSeat with child

currently being tested and adopted in educational and therapeutic settings, shows promise of helping students with attention difficulties, according to results monitored by Newman Adaptive, the seat’s manufacturer. A number of special education teachers whose classrooms are test sites for the seat report that students using it are more attentive to tasks. Said one teacher of exceptional three to five year-olds, “A very active child stayed seated at the table for ½ hour doing fine motor tasks.” Another teacher whose special education class serves adolescents 14 to 18 years of age, described the AlertSeat™ as “a good motivator for students who have trouble staying on task or getting started working.” The AlertSeat™ combines a standard exercise ball in a sturdy metal base. The ball portion of the AlertSeat™ is enclosed in a zip-off cover made of a durable laminated vinyl-nylon fabric. The ball cover features double-sewn grab handles for easy portability. While it was designed to help children with developmental or behavioral disorders, it is also being used to good effect in regular classrooms. Said one pre-school teacher with a class of typical three and four year-olds: “It gave the children who have somewhat more difficulty focusing their attention a chance to feel involved with what the group was doing.” A teacher in a regular classroom where the AlertSeat™ is being used by six and seven year-olds said simply, “Students remained focused.” For more comments from teachers, therapists and students who have experience with the AlertSeat™, go towww.alertseat.com and select Product Reviews. To see if your classroom qualifies as a test site for Newman Adaptive products, send your request to info@alertseat.com.