Remember the fun of bouncing up and down on a trampoline when you were younger? Kids and adults everywhere enjoy trampolining — it’s an endless source of enjoyment and it’s a great way to get some exercise, too. Children with autism can enjoy some incredible benefits with trampoline therapy. There’s no frustration involved with the simple act of bouncing up and down — and it’s something they can enjoy just about any time. Let’s take a closer look at how trampolines benefit kids with autism.
Trampolines can Help Improve Sensory Skills
Children with autism can be stressed and uncomfortable when sensory input becomes overwhelming. The physical up and down motion of the trampoline helps kids make a mind-body connection that aids in interpreting those signals better than other types of fidgeting or the comforting back and forth rocking that some children with autism display. The trampoline helps these children develop better balance skills, too. It feels fun and safe, so the child doesn’t feel at all pressured or overwhelmed.
Trampolines Help Children Deal with Stress
You probably know that exercise can help you deal with your own stress. Just like a good workout can help an adult deal with stressors, a fun bounce on a trampoline can help alleviate the stress and anxiety that often troubles kids with ASD. The exercise helps develop important muscles all over the body, too, and over time, kids who play on trampolines tend to develop more confidence which in turn can help reduce the amount of stress they feel as a result of exposure to stimuli from the outside world.
Bouncing Can Help Kids Relate to Others
Many children on the autism spectrum have some difficulty relating to their peers and forming friendships. Bouncing on the trampoline is a great way to engage with others in a stress-free way.
Trampolining Helps Autistic Children Calm Down
Although it might seem counterintuitive to have your child bounce on a trampoline when you’re hoping to get them to calm down, the bouncing channels that nervous energy away from the child’s body and relaxes their mind at the same time. In just a few minutes, your child is likely to feel less anxious and more calm. This can help with everything from focus to learning. If your child often engages in self-stimulatory behavior, a trampoline may help reduce both frequency and duration.
Bouncing is Great Exercise
If you’ve ever spent time bouncing up and down on a trampoline, you know that it is an effective but simple workout for your whole body. Children need exercise — it helps strengthen muscles, ligaments, and tendons while teaching them how to interact with the physical world around them.
Many kids with ASD bounce naturally — just like other kids, they enjoy channeling their energy into fun up and down bouncing motions that channel their energy out in a way that feels great. For children with autism, trampolines provide a safe, comfortable outlet for that energy. It’s far safer — and much more productive — for kids on the autism spectrum to engage in repetitive behavior by jumping on the trampoline. Where other repetitive behaviors can be unproductive or even harmful, bouncing offers helpful benefits while keeping your child safe from bumps and bruises.
Trampolines Can Help with Motor Skills
As kids bounce and play on a trampoline, they develop better coordination and balance that improves further with frequent play sessions. Interestingly, fine motor skills often improve along with the ability to control larger motions so that activities like eating, using electronics, writing, tying shoes, and buttoning buttons eventually become easier to do.
Choosing a Trampoline for an Autistic Child
If you have a child with autism and you think that he or she would enjoy the fun of bouncing along with all the benefits trampolines provide, you’ll be glad to find that there are lots of options available. You may wish to take your child to a local trampoline center to see how they respond. It’s worth noting that some kids do find the high level of activity here to be overstimulating and stressful, so you might want to find out when the quietest, least busy times are and plan your visit accordingly.
If your child tends to engage in self-stimulatory behavior or already jumps up and down often, they are probably a prime candidate for trampolining. There are quite a few different types to choose from including small indoor models with handrails for older children, and smaller, more lightweight trampolines with safety features designed just for toddlers. Larger outdoor trampolines let older kids enjoy more freedom, and safety nets prevent painful accidents.
As there are so many options to choose from and different trampolines benefit kids with autism based on size, age, and other characteristics, it’s a great idea to check out kid and toddler trampoline reviews which have complete information about each model. This makes it far simpler to create your shortlist so that you know what to look for when shopping.
Bouncing is something that all kids can enjoy — whatever their age or physical capabilities! With a trampoline, your child will enjoy a variety of physical and mental benefits that last for life.