Minnesota Study Supports Effectiveness
More evidence that special education students benefit from stability ball seating comes from Minnesota where a graduate student studiedthe 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)