Among the autistic children who are with many sensory disorders, the most common disorders are balance, coordination, and vestibular sensation. And of the related therapeutic training methods, trampoline therapy is the most popular one.
Many playgrounds have renounced beds, and the family mini-comforter or Simmons mattress serves the same purpose. Jumping helps vestibular sensory integration, develops a sense of balance, trains autistic children’s hand-eye coordination. And improves self-motor and motor planning skills, and helps with emotional stability.
What is trampoline therapy?
Trampoline therapy also called “rebound therapy”, primarily refers to the use of trampolines as a method of rehabilitation therapy. Proposed and gradually developed by Eddy Anderson in the 1970s, this trampoline exercise therapy combines fun and effectiveness for patients with somatic dysfunction or communication disorders.
Trampoline therapy is a therapeutic exercise intervention that mediates muscle tone. It improves balance and promotes the recovery of motor function, while also helping patients to relax and promote communication. Therefore, both patients with somatomotor and sensory dysfunction and those with communication disorders can benefit from it.
Trampoline therapy is a fun and interactive activity that not only improves somatic motor and sensory function but can also have a beneficial impact on social communication and participation ability. We enhance the therapeutic effects of trampoline therapy with play-based activities such as counting, listening to sounds, finding cards of specific colors, and identifying images. Trampoline therapy provides patients with a weightless environment and three-dimensional movement that challenges their bodies in multiple ways, which in turn promotes growth and development
So, how should we use trampolines in the training of autism?
1. The trainer and autistic children sit together on the crash bed, using the elasticity of the trampoline, with the body as a support for rocking up and down!
2. Some children are afraid to get on the trampoline. In order to reduce his fear, parents or teachers can carry their children on the trampoline when they first start jumping.
3. Let the child prone to the trampoline. The trainer stands and jumps to bounce the child up and down so that he can experience the feeling of the trampoline’s ups and downs.
4. Let the child lie down on the trampoline, lift the head and neck and chest as high as possible, this can strengthen the feeling of the vestibular system, promote the formation of muscle proprioception throughout the body.
5. Let the autistic child jump freely on the trampoline, or jump on the crumbling bed with the ball in his hands, or make a game of ball tossing and catching with the trainer.
6. You can also hang a net basket on the trampoline, let the child jump while putting the ball in the basket!
7. Hang a balloon above the trampoline and let the autistic child shoot the balloon each time he jumps up. In this game, children can judge visual space in mid-air through proper vestibular innate sensation, which helps hand-eye coordination and body image.
8. Let two children stand face to face on the trampoline hand in hand and jump together, or pull a hula hoop and jump together. This trains the ability to coordinate movement with each other, increasing visual steadiness through eye to eye contact in the middle of a jump.
Jumping is an important sport for children early in their development. Whenever a child with autism jumps with his foot, the force enters his toes and paws, stimulating his brain and developing his sense of balance. If a home trampoline is not available, parents can have their children play jumping games on the couch or trampoline. In the first stage, you can hold your child by his armpits or pull his hands and let him enjoy the bouncing. And in the second stage, you can gradually add some throwing and catching movements to train hand-eye coordination.
In autism training, trampoline jumping is the most popular among the autism children, and the love of jumping and playing is a child’s nature.
Jumping on trampoline will bring more to the children as below.
– limb strength
– computing power
– muscle tone
– reaction rate
– eye contact
– free movement
– sense of accomplishment
– spatial awareness
– body consciousness
– social awareness
– Think of others.
– Confidence in the coach/assistant
– Color Recognition
– Height and depth perception
– Fun and enjoyment.