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#31 of 57 Old 03-19-2008, 01:51 AM
 
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as a pediatric physical therapist specializing in early intervention, w-sitting usually is a concern with the children that i work with. the info that ryansma quoted above pretty much sums it up.

now, for most children that are developing typically, w-sitting is not a 'problem' in and of itself. it's not the best position to sit in as it does compromise the knee and hip joints (and to a lesser degree, the ankles), and it does not allow for lateral weight shifting and trunk rotation so the child 'stuck' in that position and limits the planes of motion in which to engage in play activities.

for a child that exhibits a varied and flexible repertoire of sitting positions, w-sitting doesn't really raise any red flags (although if my child did sit like that, i WOULD gently encourage her to sit in another position, but that is just me being a mommy with her P.T. hat on ).

however, many children with even mild low tone (aka hypotonia) issues, even subclinically, w-sitting is a preferred sitting position because it is pretty passive, and easy for them. you don't have to use your trunk/core nearly as much as in other positions. for these kids, i usually suggest to the parents that they facilitate their child to sit in other positions. i am very careful to talk to the parents about the language and methods in which to do this. preferably, a positive verbal cue like "feet in front" is best imo, instead of saying something like "fix your legs" or "sit right" (which i have heard parents saying, unfortunately). concurrently, i really help the families work with their kids on trunk strengthening/core stability.
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#32 of 57 Old 03-19-2008, 01:58 AM
 
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This thread has helped me a lot, I provide in-home care and the LO sits like this CONSTANTLY.
She has NO core strength with extreme back lordosis and toes in on one side pronouncedly when she walks. She didn't walk until 14 mo and would instead "walk on her knees".
I'm going to pass this information along to her mother to have her hips checked for dysplasia.

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#33 of 57 Old 03-19-2008, 12:41 PM
 
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My mildly low muscle tone kiddo tends to do this or tended to anyway. I do too...and what do you know I'm low tone as well but never knew it.

Our OTs always said "criss cross apple sauce" and that's the cue to sit cross legged. Works and is pleasant I think/kids like it.

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#34 of 57 Old 03-19-2008, 03:01 PM
 
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All of my boys did this. I suppose if all they did was sit around on the floor it would be a problem, but that's hardly the life of 3 energetic boys! So no, it's never been a problem.
At their preschool they're asked to sit cross-legged instead, so they get the hang of it.
My husband and boys both have flat arches and walk with feet tilted in, but it's genetic, not learned.
I think the best you can do is remind him and help him to sit differently when you remember. As long as he's not sitting like that all the time I wouldn't worry about it.

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#35 of 57 Old 03-19-2008, 04:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
as a pediatric physical therapist specializing in early intervention, w-sitting usually is a concern with the children that i work with. the info that ryansma quoted above pretty much sums it up.

now, for most children that are developing typically, w-sitting is not a 'problem' in and of itself. it's not the best position to sit in as it does compromise the knee and hip joints (and to a lesser degree, the ankles), and it does not allow for lateral weight shifting and trunk rotation so the child 'stuck' in that position and limits the planes of motion in which to engage in play activities.

for a child that exhibits a varied and flexible repertoire of sitting positions, w-sitting doesn't really raise any red flags (although if my child did sit like that, i WOULD gently encourage her to sit in another position, but that is just me being a mommy with her P.T. hat on ).

however, many children with even mild low tone (aka hypotonia) issues, even subclinically, w-sitting is a preferred sitting position because it is pretty passive, and easy for them. you don't have to use your trunk/core nearly as much as in other positions. for these kids, i usually suggest to the parents that they facilitate their child to sit in other positions. i am very careful to talk to the parents about the language and methods in which to do this. preferably, a positive verbal cue like "feet in front" is best imo, instead of saying something like "fix your legs" or "sit right" (which i have heard parents saying, unfortunately). concurrently, i really help the families work with their kids on trunk strengthening/core stability.

I have read this thread and don't have anything new to add. When I started to read I thought "I wonder what kidspiration would say?"
I'm glad you replied (and said just what I thought you would!) and I can tell you work with parents of young children!

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#36 of 57 Old 03-19-2008, 05:02 PM
 
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I have read this thread and don't have anything new to add. When I started to read I thought "I wonder what kidspiration would say?"
I'm glad you replied (and said just what I thought you would!) and I can tell you work with parents of young children!
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#37 of 57 Old 03-19-2008, 05:53 PM
 
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Huh, this is the first I've heard of "W sitting" being a bad thing. I never even knew there was a name for it. I still sit this way sometimes at 25 years old and have no issues with my hips or knees or otherwise.
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#38 of 57 Old 03-20-2008, 12:28 AM
 
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Pediatric physical therapist who saw DS for an evaluation (as part of a team with a speech therapist) noticed him do this and said that we should try to prevent it just because it puts such stress on the joints.

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#39 of 57 Old 03-20-2008, 01:36 AM
 
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Here's my story: DD NEVER sat like that and she DOES have leg problems! She was severly bow legged and had major in-toeing.
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#40 of 57 Old 03-20-2008, 01:36 PM
 
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Ever since seeing this thread I have paid more attention to how many times ds actually "w sits". I have noticed that he will move out of w -sitting fairly quickly now (he just did it while sitting and playing with stickers) where he used to sit like that for longer stretches of time. So that makes me think it is something that children WITHOUT other issues probably just grow out of.

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#41 of 57 Old 04-10-2008, 02:01 PM
 
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Sorry for rambling but children are my passion
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#42 of 57 Old 04-10-2008, 02:32 PM
 
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eh, I still don't buy it. W sitting was my preferred position through childhood. During the same time I was a serious ballet dancer with excellent turn out

Sure didn't make my knees and hips turn in.

-Angela
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#43 of 57 Old 04-10-2008, 02:58 PM
 
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just my two cents, i was an avid 'w' sitter from toddler to early teens, and i have toe-turn-in on both feet. as well, tailor sitting is very uncomfortable for me now.

i don't know all the facts about cores and trunks and muscle stuff, but i have knees, ankles and hips that require constant attention from chiros and docs.

if i could go back in time, i would have sent my own parents to a doc or whomever to get me to stop sitting this way. but they didn't know any better... that's not something that was really attended to in our lifestyle.

i think it would not be harmful if the child uses a variety of sitting positions and exercises regularly.... but that was not the case with me.

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#44 of 57 Old 04-10-2008, 03:07 PM
 
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When youngsters sit this way, at least four areas of the body may be adversely affected. The hips have too much stress put on them; the thighs twist inward in an unnatural position; the kneecaps, which should be facing frontward, twist inward; and the feet are also turned in. Children who make a habit of sitting in the W position may walk and run with their knees and toes turning inward and their feet kicking out at their sides. This gait gets a lot of laughs for Jerry Lewis in the movies, but it's hardly recommended for growing boys and girls.
Children who sit in W position have inward rotation of the thigh bone (femoral anteversion) which in turn promotes inward rotation of the hips joints. This is not good for the normal hip development. It should therefore be discouraged and the child be encouraged to sit cross legged. If the child has an abnormal gait or cannot sit cross legged, he/she should be examined by a pediatric orthopedic surgeon.
W-sitting can also discourage a child from developing a hand preference. Because no trunk rotation can take place when W-sitting, a child is less inclined to reach across the body and instead picks up objects on the right with the right hand, and those placed to the left with the left hand.

Try sitting in various positions. Notice how you got there, got out, and what it took to balance. Many of the movement components you are trying to encourage in a child are used when getting in and out of sitting. Transfers in and out of the Q-position, however, are accomplished through straight-plane (directly forward and backward) movement only. No trunk rotation, weight shifting, or righting reactions are necessary to assume or maintain W-sitting.

When in the W-position, a child is planted in place or "fixed" through the trunk. This allows for play with toys in front, but does not permit trunk rotation and lateral weight shifts (twisting and turning to reach toys on either side). Trunk rotation and weight shifts over one side allow a child to maintain balance while running outside or playing on the playground and are necessary for crossing the mid line while writing and doing table top activities.

It’s easy to see why this position appeals to so many children, but continued reliance on W-sitting can prevent a child from developing more mature movement patterns necessary for higher-level skills.
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#45 of 57 Old 04-10-2008, 03:15 PM
 
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Parents, we are not pointing fingers and saying your are bad parents! But don't you want to do whats best for your children. It may be alright fur us but is it really what's best for them? Maybe our parents didn't have all the resources but we do, we should take full advantage.
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#46 of 57 Old 04-10-2008, 03:20 PM
 
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Parents, we are not pointing fingers and saying your are bad parents! But don't you want to do whats best for your children. It may be alright fur us but is it really what's best for them? Maybe our parents didn't have all the resources but we do, we should take full advantage.
I just don't buy that it's always an evil position. I think that in a child with other issues, it should be considered. But in a normally developing child, I do not believe that it is harmful in and of itself. Nor have I seen any convincing research showing that it is.

-Angela
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#47 of 57 Old 04-10-2008, 03:26 PM
 
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Yes but prolonged use of the position can lead to future problems. You where a dancer and that helped your muscles stay strong, a young child needs a solid foundation from the start.
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#48 of 57 Old 04-10-2008, 03:41 PM
 
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Yes but prolonged use of the position can lead to future problems. You where a dancer and that helped your muscles stay strong, a young child needs a solid foundation from the start.
Eh, a young child should have a solid foundation of physical activity to keep their muscles strong. Much more important than forbidding one seating position.

-Angela
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#49 of 57 Old 04-11-2008, 01:33 AM
 
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as a pediatric physical therapist specializing in early intervention, w-sitting usually is a concern with the children that i work with. the info that ryansma quoted above pretty much sums it up.

now, for most children that are developing typically, w-sitting is not a 'problem' in and of itself. it's not the best position to sit in as it does compromise the knee and hip joints (and to a lesser degree, the ankles), and it does not allow for lateral weight shifting and trunk rotation so the child 'stuck' in that position and limits the planes of motion in which to engage in play activities.

for a child that exhibits a varied and flexible repertoire of sitting positions, w-sitting doesn't really raise any red flags (although if my child did sit like that, i WOULD gently encourage her to sit in another position, but that is just me being a mommy with her P.T. hat on ).

however, many children with even mild low tone (aka hypotonia) issues, even subclinically, w-sitting is a preferred sitting position because it is pretty passive, and easy for them. you don't have to use your trunk/core nearly as much as in other positions. for these kids, i usually suggest to the parents that they facilitate their child to sit in other positions. i am very careful to talk to the parents about the language and methods in which to do this. preferably, a positive verbal cue like "feet in front" is best imo, instead of saying something like "fix your legs" or "sit right" (which i have heard parents saying, unfortunately). concurrently, i really help the families work with their kids on trunk strengthening/core stability.
:
I'm also a paediatric physical therapist, and I totally agree with the info that Ryansma and above poster said - no real need for me to add more.
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#50 of 57 Old 04-13-2008, 06:44 AM
 
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My DH still does that when he sits on the floor. So does my DD. It's not like a healthy toddler is going to spend a huge amount of time in any one position, so if there isn't another issue, I don't understand how it's a problem by itself.

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#51 of 57 Old 04-13-2008, 07:31 AM
 
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My sister sat like this through her school years - she was the most flexible among us and it was really comfortable for her. Mom called it the "TV Squat".

She walks and stuff now at 26 - and had no other trouble.

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#52 of 57 Old 04-13-2008, 08:29 AM
 
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My ds's feet turn in and his ped told us to discourage W sitting, but didn't make a big deal out of it. She also told us to encourage sitting cross legged and that sports like soccer would be good for him when he gets older.
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#53 of 57 Old 04-13-2008, 10:35 AM
 
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I haven't read all the replies~ but I wanted to add that my now 7 yo daughter used to sit like this constantly and she never had any problems and stopped doing it at some point on her own.
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#54 of 57 Old 04-13-2008, 06:09 PM
 
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I get a kick out of these Posts. I am an occupational therapist who also works with young children and I also discourage children from sitting in this position.

This post is reminiscent of the crawling before walking posts where hand fulls of mamas chime in that they didn't crawl and they are just fine. We all have movement patterns that we use to compensate for weakness, imbalances, and/or mild low muscle tone. Just because we do do them, doesn't meant that it is the best for us. It's functional...and that's why we do it. and by the way, if you can do it, it does often mean that you are on the lower tone side of the spectrum. There is nothing wrong with it. It's part of our neurological makeup. I am lower tone as well. It's when tone gets to the extreme ends of the spectrum you run into problems.

No, "w" sitting is not the devil reincarnate and it is developmentally appropriate until around five but it is not a position that is intended for long term sitting. Just like a PP observed with her child, they often do this when they are crawling and stop to play temporarily. But most often, they move on and don't remain in that position. If they do, it can be a sign of underlying issues, as mentioned before, and it is something to keep your eyes on and it's usually accompanied by other signs. "w" sitting in and of itself is not usually an issue.

Phew...I left and came back and I feel better now. I am not sure what it is that gets my goat about these threads. It seems like there are two ends of the spectrum when I look at developmental threads. If you look on places like "GASP" Baby Center, you get the perspective that somehow your child's development is a reflection of how good of a parent you are. And places like Babies R Us perpetuates it. Have you been there recently? They have these things called "walking wings" that have a harness that you but around your child and then there are two loops that you hold onto as you train them to walk. They kids look like little marionettes. There is a place for things like this. There often created based on tools used with children with special needs. The thing that kills me about it is that it is marketed for children as young as 6 mos. 6 MONTHS! They are no where near developmentally ready to learn to walk at 6 MONTHS!

Then there is the other end of the spectrum. Development happens naturally and you exclusively follow the lead of the child. Don't get up in arms yet, I am on this end as well. The problem comes in assuming that everything that a child does in the course of development is best. Most of the time it is but there are things that children do that are maladaptive and if allowed to develop, it follows a trajectory that is difficult to reverse.

It is fairly safe to assume that children are going to develop typically. Things like "w" sitting and not crawling are things that millions of kids do or (not do) without consequence. but then there are the millions of kids that do them and it is a part of something bigger. So just because you did it or your kid did and you and your kids are fine doesn't mean that it's bogus and never an issue.
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#55 of 57 Old 04-13-2008, 10:21 PM
 
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This post is reminiscent of the crawling before walking posts where hand fulls of mamas chime in that they didn't crawl and they are just fine. We all have movement patterns that we use to compensate for weakness, imbalances, and/or mild low muscle tone. Just because we do do them, doesn't meant that it is the best for us. It's functional...and that's why we do it. and by the way, if you can do it, it does often mean that you are on the lower tone side of the spectrum. There is nothing wrong with it. It's part of our neurological makeup. I am lower tone as well. It's when tone gets to the extreme ends of the spectrum you run into problems.
Welll.... since you bring it up- I never crawled either. I never had any muscle tone problems - as I mention I was a serious dancer

My mom stressed seriously about me not crawling... tried to make me etc. Didn't work. I just stood up and walked at 9 months and never looked back.

I will buy that in children with other concerns it can be something to consider, but the idea that we should forbid sitting positions or force crawling is beyond absurd to me...

-Angela
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#56 of 57 Old 04-14-2008, 12:06 AM
 
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Welll.... since you bring it up- I never crawled either. I never had any muscle tone problems - as I mention I was a serious dancer

My mom stressed seriously about me not crawling... tried to make me etc. Didn't work. I just stood up and walked at 9 months and never looked back.

I will buy that in children with other concerns it can be something to consider, but the idea that we should forbid sitting positions or force crawling is beyond absurd to me...

-Angela
Like I mentioned in my previous post. We all fall somewhere on the spectrum in terms of tone. You only have "tone issues" if you land somewhere towards the extremes (think CP with high tone, down syndrome with low) and/ or it limits your ability to participate in age appropriate activities. As a serious dancer, you probably have lower tone. It tends to help make people more flexible.

Your right, it's not a great idea to "force" or "forbid" anything developmentally speaking and most kids only "w" sit fleetingly. But if they are sitting like that for long lengths of time, gentle reminders to sit in a way that doesn't put as much stress on the knees and hips might be a good idea...it's like telling your child to sit straight, which is also good advice. Besides, if sitting in other positions makes it so your child is not able to get enough support to play (which is why kids tend to prefer to sit that way), getting some ideas on how to work on trunk support might be warranted.
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#57 of 57 Old 04-14-2008, 02:54 PM
 
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Absolutely fascinating!

I never sat like that, as far as I can recall. I've also never been comfortable sitting "indian style."

My sister sat in a W for long periods of time until she was about 12. At that point, she was diagnosed with scoliosis. By the time it was treated, she was so twisted that if she was standing with her feet facing north, her upper body faced west. Her internal organs were being squished. They did surgery.

Now she has knee problems. Her doctor gave her some exercises to try for a while before considering other options.

Leigh, mama to Rostislav homeborn Aug 9 2007, and Oksana homeborn Feb 24 2011.
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