One Leg Therapy Stool Autism

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Introduction: One Leg Therapy Stool Autism

My son has occupational therapy and they have been using a one leg stool to help him with his self regulation. He has high functioning Autism.  It seems to help him with his focus. He used to spend a bunch of time fidgeting while doing homework. Great tool.

Step 1: Materials

1. Thrift store pair of crutches $3 (kid size for this project)

2. 1/2" pipe flanges (2 since I did 2 stools. I figured I would never use the other crutch otherwise)

3. 1/2" pipe threaded both ends (cut in half for 2)

4. #12 wood screws (I bought 1" but should have got 3/4". I had to cut them down) or carriage bolts.

5. #8 self tap sheet metal screws. Or you can drill through and use a nut and bolt.

6. 3/4" birch plywood. This is the nice stuff used for making cabinets. Any piece of sturdy wood would probably work just fine.

Step 2: Tools


1. Clear polyurethane (or paint or stain or just leave it unfinished) and Brush

2. Sabre saw and Hacksaw

3. Router (or file). Router not shown, I had already put it away and was too lazy to take it back out. You know what they look like anyway.

4. Drill and assorted bits

5. Sand paper

Step 3: Material Prep and Assembly


1. Drill out the rivets in the crutches. This will allow you to remove just the adjustable foot portion. If you need a shorter stool this would be the time to cut down the length of the stool leg (my son is pretty tall and I used kids crutches so no cutting for me).

2. Cut seat plywood into circle. I used 12" across but you could adjust based on your comfort. Note: We have two stools in our household one kids and one adult both use a 12" diameter.

3. Router edge to nice profile or file to smooth edge. For that matter you could upholster it I suppose.

4. Finish the wood. I used clear polyurethane but you could also stain or paint it. I also did some light sanding between coats to get a nice durable finish. I used the satin for a furniture grade appearance.

5. Assemble the pipe and flange. Simple just thread them together. I would suggest very tightly. My sons are capable of taking anything apart, so mine are gorilla tight.

6. Pre-drill and assemble pipe to crutch leg and flange to seat. I used self taping screw on all 4 sides. You could also through drill and put a bolt and nut. I thought the tech screw approach would be plenty strong and a clean look. Note: Make sure you offset the holes or the tips of the screws will interfere inside.

7. Adjust to comfortable height and start using.

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    112 Comments

    Hello,

    This looks like a great project! But can you give me some more detail on the threaded pipe? Thanks!

    1 reply

    Sorry for the slow response. It will depend on the size of your crutches. Take them in to the hardware store and start matching them up.

    S

    I use the t stool alot in therapy. The one that bounces is really beneficial. Gives a slight bounce when you need it, like a therapy ball, but you have to maintain balance too. Call a Togo.

    Togo Pics 3 stools.jpg

    The nature of the stool requires them to use some additional concentration otherwise they fall off. My experience has seen success with adding heavy work to boring routines or attention specific steps.

    I love this! My eldest son (7 y.o.) has Autism and I can definitely see how he could benefit from this Instructable (provided he doesn't use it to knock his siblings over the head). :) Congratulations, sir! You earned it!

    THANKS SO MUCH! My little brother has autism and I bet he would love this! Mabey some day me and my other little brother could make this as a B-day present.

    2 replies

    I rember my brother while he was doing his home work at the kitchen counter, I was eating(I am 4 years older than him so I do my homework right when I get home) and he would jump up yelling. I belive this is a normal action. He loves odd chairs (I have a egg chair that I let him sit in) so again he would love this!

    It is not that hard of a project. He may like it. All 3 of my kids like these stools. And yes the jumping and yelling are par for the course in our house too.

    Do you think this would help with pain from slouching in a normal chair all day? I'm looking for a cheap alternative to those ergonomic kneeling chairs, and I think this has potential.

    1 reply

    Actually yes. This would be similar to the ergo ball type seats. It will force your core to get more strong. It may not be viable for all day use but worth a try.

    Interesting and great approach. Good use of the crutch leg.

    I'm wondering, does the thought of staying balanced keep you focused? Or is it that you can't put both legs up, or you would fall?

    Awesome, but it looks like a hassle to store. Ideally it would go upside down, but with that one leg protruding, its kind of awkward. How are you keeping this when not in use?

    4 replies

    I know from experience that any inconvenience caused by equipment/toys and other items fades into insignificance when the child is "engaging" in some activity. It is vital that the activity is repeated as often as possible, without trying to use the old ploy "It's good for you" any child who needs constant involvement does not and probably never will "get It". Use the leg-stool for any sit down activity. Try another item. Twirling. please try anything and everything. Merry Christmas to you 2011

    All of the above. The balance required not only makes you use your core strength but it puts other parts of your brain in action. An added benefit is if he decides to mess around or not stay focused he tips over.

    Storage is the same as his old chair, we just slide it under the desk (upside down of course).

    I'm not even autistic and this would help. :-) A little distraction can work wonders for concentration.

    Great build!

    Not only that but if you lose that concentration you fall. I like to use a balance ball when I am tired and working on the computer.

    This is one of the most informative information I've read. It really helps a lot. Thanks for sharing this and teaching some of your Idea's. granite delaware de

    1 reply

    Has anybody tried this yet? I mean of those who commented and liked it before christmas.
    NOTE: None of these activities work in isolation so please don't expect an instant improvement. The brain requires a repeat activity in order for any changes to occur and when this is compounded by "other" activities" will have a profound effect. I also recommend that you don't treat it as "therapy" rather as just something that you do in your world (family). May I also recommend something physical such as swimming, jogging, gymnastics, dance, and so on. Not a team sport and most definitaly NOT for competition. Simply movement and activity no matter how limited and/ or short term will have a cumulative effect. I am happy to answer any questions on these matters, so good luck. NOTE: As a private person with a great deal of experience in these matters.