07- 14- 2011 TO: Island Chair Company ATTENTION: Ursula Nussbaum FROM: Marvin Kowalewski, Ph.D SUBJECT: Use of Island Chairs in a Therapeutic Setting I am taking a moment to describe our use of your chair in the clinic for children suffering ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) and neuro-developmental disorder. The most important consequence of the disorder is an enabling quieting of the body/mind so that the child is able to receive stimulation from the outside. There is a large body of therapeutic work utilizing what is called a "squeeze box" type of therapy, developed from looking at Dr. Temple Grandin's work in her own autism. What she claims is that  external pressure around her produced a quieting effect on her mind/body. In using the Island Chair we find that the child is not only suspended but in this case with pressure from the sides providing that same "squeezing" effect…………. in addition there is another motion introduced… swinging or the effect of swinging seems to provide  a certain enjoyment in the stimulation of the vestibular ganglion which  receives positional information. By sitting "squeezed" in this chair, we think that there is no stimulation effect of the proprioceptive sensory modality. Because the child is held in; however, the "righting movement" of the cerebellum appears to take over as the child will naturally visually seek the horizon( the body tilts in any direction, will cock the head back to level the eyes against the horizon).[ With only three stimuli, squeeze, safety of horizon and slow swinging, the chair can be extremely valuable for children suffering the inability to determine sensory stimuli …that is, making sense of what is happening to their body. And of course this effect is a pleasant, calming experience. I recommend the use of the Island Chair and would encourage study to understand the effect on these children. I might add that I have recommended to the manufacturer the use of a small weighted blanket so that the subject in the chair receives a full body stimuli of pressure from all sides. This produces the full "squeezebox" yet it is easily assembled and set up for use anywhere. The use of the blanket makes it multidimensional and provides additional functioning for this device. Our website: www.counselingsolutionsfl.com will provide pictorial evidence of the use of this type chair and it will show how children can be introduced to this useful therapeutic tool. Should there be any questions for further information on the use of this device, I should be happy to share our results. Counseling Solutions recognizes and thanks the Island Chair Company for its efforts to provide a useful tool in working with children suffering with ASD and neuro-developmental disorders.