Trampoline Therapy for Autism – Can Trampolines Help?

For most kids, trampolines are nothing more than a fun activity to release energy and pass the time. However, for other kids, a trampoline is an important form of therapy that can have a lasting effect. Trampoline therapy for Autism helps children with sensory issues learn how to read impulses in their bodies for improvement.

trampoline therapy for autism

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SENSORY SYSTEMS FOR AUTISM


Sensory systems are something most people take for granted. It's not something most people have to think about.

Our bodies and senses react automatically. Those faced with autism or other sensory disorders have to face irregularities in their sensory systems on a regular basis.

Irregularities in the vestibular and proprioceptive systems lead to a host of problems that can have a huge effect on a child's everyday life. 

One common issue faced by autistic children is the inability to walk correctly. This is because of the lack of communication between the sensory systems and the body.


Raising a Sensory Smart Child with Lindsey Biel

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HOW TRAMPOLINES CAN HELP


Trampoline physical therapy is a great way to improve the body's response to sensory systems. A trampoline contains a jumping surface held taught by a series of springs. 

These springs store potential energy upon every impact, causing it to rebound a fraction of a second later.

This rebounding action helps autism patients recognize the impulses they are getting. Over time, they'll be able to understand how their body is being affected by the rebound. 

They'll sense their body's movements through the sensory systems, allowing them to react appropriately.

Many children experience improvement with continued use of a trampoline. The repetitive motions help improve the sensory system and the way it communicates with the body.

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JUMPING INDOORS


Image by: Leon Brocard /Via flickr.com CC BY 2.0

An indoor trampoline for autism is great for teachers and therapists. Most often, mini trampolines are used. The small footprint makes them easy to maneuver around the classroom and store away when not in use.

Mini trampolines are also better from a safety standpoint. Children don't have far to fall, decreasing the chance of injury. The great thing about using trampolines in the classroom is that they allow children to use them while completing other activities.

Teachers and therapists may incorporate other lessons, such as counting and rhythm exercises, to further improve their sensory systems. Children will also be able to switch up their movement throughout the day, all while improving lower body strength.


OUTDOOR TRAMPOLINES


Larger trampolines can also help with sensory issues. These trampolines are generally used with older children. They are placed outdoors and require constant supervision to ensure that the child doesn't experience injury.

This type of sensory trampoline requires heavy protection. This includes an enclosure to protect from falls as well as adequate padding around the unit. Spotters are also encouraged. 

Because of the inadequacies of the sensory system, those with sensory disorders are more prone to falling as they use the trampoline for improvement.


TRAMPOLINE THERAPY FOR AUTISM - CONCLUSION


The use of trampolines for autism and other sensory disorders is widely supported. Children will see improvement over time. Because jumping on a trampoline requires increased coordination and motor skills, the student must adapt and learn.

The additional benefits of exercise and enjoyment make it a popular method among students and professionals alike. Support classrooms will often contain trampolines in which therapists promote use throughout the day.

Trampoline therapy for autism is a unique treatment method that has done wonders for many suffering from the sensory disorder. While it may be a fun activity for most, some are changing the way their body and minds communicate, one jump at a time.


References:

http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/9323/1/Trampolines-Are-Good-Therapy.html

http://komonews.com/archive/trampolines-helping-people-with-autism-reach-new-heights

https://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/tool-kits/100-day-kit/treatments-therapies