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"W" sitting??

Posted by on Dec. 22, 2008 at 7:58 PM
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My oldest son has PDD-NOS and we just had a referral put in for my 14 month old for an EI eval.  It was noted by my 2 year old's therapist that the baby does a W sit.  He actually does this all the time and I never knew that it was a problem.  Does anyone else know anything about this?  Is there a link between W sitting and autism?  Any advice on the topic is appreciated as I am concerned about his motor development and possible speech delays.

by on Dec. 22, 2008 at 7:58 PM
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by Member on Dec. 22, 2008 at 11:21 PM

I don't know if there is a link between Autism and w sitting. All I know is when my daughter was diagnosed with Autism at 28 months I was told by therapists for her not to sit that way. She was doing it all the time and being a parent for the first time I really thought it was no big deal. Apparently it's  really bad for their hips so when ever we see her sitting this way we would say put your legs out or criss cross applesauce. She is now 4 years old and rarely does it anymore. Just give it some time it will stop.

by Member on Dec. 22, 2008 at 11:24 PM

I am in my forties and w sit. I have all my life.  It hurts to sit indian style.

by New Member on Dec. 23, 2008 at 12:47 AM

 Hi, What is "W" sitting?

relieved mom
by Member on Dec. 23, 2008 at 6:15 AM

I have always sit that way and so have 3 out of my 4 children.  I was told not to let them sit that way, but, it was the most comfy way for all of them.  Only one of my 4 has Aspergers, the other 3 are NT.

by New Member on Dec. 23, 2008 at 7:31 AM

I dont know for sure if the W sitting is a sign or not. But what I do know is my daughter does it to and every kid I know that has Autism does it. Maddees theripist would turn her legs every time she did it. She also has joints that pop real bad. This past summer during on of her therapy sessions she staddled our coffee table and hyperextended her hip and it poped right out of the socket. He wrists elbows and ankles do it to. I am wondering if weak or double joints are common with Autistic kids.

by Member on Dec. 23, 2008 at 10:18 AM

What is "W" sitting? I'm lost.


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by Bronze Member on Dec. 23, 2008 at 10:24 AM

"W" sitting is when the child sits in a kneeling position, but has his feet out to the sides, thus his legs form a "W".

Matthew (ASD) does this all the time.  DD (NT) never did this.  We were also told to break him of this habit because of the stress to his joints.  This is his preferred method of sitting.  So, that is easier said than done, but I think it is a legitimate point.

Interestingly, this summer Matthew's elbow popped out of it's socket from just a minor incident (long story). We took him to ER as we were sure (by his crying) something was wrong, but didn't know what.  Dr said it is very common for children (not just ASD kids) & it is called 'Nursemaid's elbow".   I had never heard of this & dd used to do all kinds of swinging by her arms with no issue.  Anyway, he said it wasn't a big deal & showed me how to pop it back in if it happened again.  But it does get you wondering if there may something about the joints or ligaments for children with ASD that makes them more loose.

by Bronze Member on Dec. 23, 2008 at 10:26 AM

You can't see both legs, but this is what "w" sitting is.  Robby is the one in the red, and he is the offender in this case!  It is bad for the hip joints and can cause excessive wear on them if done long term.  But all of our pt's say kids do it because it requires less trunk control and in our case it is easier for Robby to from w to crawling than from a regular sitting to crawling.  I will also add that due to tone issue, Robby can not sit indian style so we are supposed to correct him and have him side sit, or sit with his legs in front of him.  Robby does it, but he also also has cerebral palsy-so it has more to with that than anything else in our case. 

Jennifer Group Admin

by on Dec. 23, 2008 at 10:43 AM

W sitting per se isn't the problem.  The challenge is to make sure the child can do other sitting because W is the easiest way and does not challenge muscles or do anything for core strength.  Any decent physical therapist should be able to explain this to you, that's where I learned.  The preferred way is to have their legs and feet under them or even to do a "tall kneel" which definitely uses the legs, abs, core, and also forces the vestibular system (balance) into action.  Try it yourself so you get a feel for the differences.  Have your therapist show you the positions on YOUR body and you'll understand much better!

by Member on Dec. 23, 2008 at 12:12 PM

My dx child does not sit in a w ...none of my kids did ....but  my 7 year nephew sits that way and i feel he's asperger and i have a 15 year old nephew that used to sit that way and my sister in law said that it was typical of children with adhd to sit that way so who knows ........Linda  


                                   Childhood should be a journey -- not a race.


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