By: Fiona Findeis - @haus_of_boys
I never realized how many benefits trampolines had for kids with special needs until I began researching into it. Then it all kind of made sense! I mean, who doesn’t feel all giddy after a good jumping session.
Even as an adult, it leaves ME feeling revitalized so can you imagine how a kid who struggles with emotional regulation would feel?!
Because autistic kids have limited communication, they often aren’t able to express their stress or anxiety. Jumping on a trampoline helps autistic kids control their anxiety and stop that build-up of stress. This is especially good for those that have more destructive forms of self-stimulation.
Trampolines are what special needs kids are encouraged to use as a means to wind down after a day at school or kindergarten, or after a day of socializing, which can be very overwhelming for them.
The sensations generated throughout the body when they are jumping, is often what autistic kids crave! This is due to the imbalances they experience in their sensory systems. This is also why they can rock, sway, fidget or tap. These repetitive actions are also known as stims and they are what soothes and calms an anxious autistic child.
Jumping has been proven to reduce these self-stimulating behaviours as kids replace them with time spent jumping on the trampoline! So, it means that kids are self-soothing in a fun and active way!
It can be very hard to get an autistic kid to participate in sport or various physical activities as many of them experience difficulty with mobility or with co-ordination and balance. So, jumping means they are getting their daily dose of physical activity in a safe way that doesn’t have to stress them out! Plus, an added bonus is that the uneven, bouncing surface is actually an awesome way to improve their balance and coordination so it’s a win, win for everyone!
We are getting our kids to exercise, and they are improving so many areas of their life in a non-intrusive way that they actually enjoy!
A 20-week training program was implemented in 2015 which used trampolines for physical therapy with a group of autistic kids. The results showed improvements in balance, agility, strength, speed and co-ordination.*
I have definitely seen the improvement in all these areas with my five-year-old ASD child. He now has a lot more confidence in riding his scooter with his brothers as he can actually stay on and ride alongside them. That’s something he struggled with for so long.
I could rave on all day about how awesome trampolines are for kids... all kids, but especially those with special needs.
Seeing my boys have the time of their life on their Springfree Trampoline, whether it’s jumping, playing basketball, spraying each other with the hose or just lying back and watching the clouds float by, I know these are the memories that will last them a lifetime.