It’s no secret that physical activity can help kids with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) acquire new motor skills, improve coordination, develop muscle strength, promote stable posture, and increase stamina.
However, group sports can be overwhelming to kids with social and cognitive delays, commonly associated with ASD. For many kids on or off the spectrum, using trampoline therapy for autism-friendly exercise may be the perfect solution for delivering the benefits of physical activity in a fun way that circumvents the pressures of group sports.
Electronics and other habit-forming, passive activities can be addictive to kids on the autism spectrum, leading to isolation, poor muscle tone, and weight issues. Getting autistic kids moving is the best way to counteract this. Additionally, according to the American Physical Therapy Association, young people on the autism spectrum are more likely to have difficulty acquiring motor skills, motor coordination and have problems with posture.
Trampoline use, also called rebound therapy, can help by delivering positive changes in muscle tone and burning calories to stave off weight gain. Trampoline therapy can also improve posture, balance, coordination and head control.
The repetition of physical movements is well-known as a coping mechanism for kids with autism. Some common repetitive behaviors, like hand flapping, head banging, and finger snapping, are necessary for autistic kids to stimulate themselves to remain calm. These stereotypical calming behaviors are often ridiculed in public. The repetitive motion of a trampoline can provide the self-stimulatory sensation needed and act as a substitute for other forms of repetitive movements and behaviors. Trampoline therapy is more like play, allows for integrated fun without the stigma of “stimming,” and provides entertainment and exercise in a public environment where people with autism can feel included and are free to be themselves.
Every child deserves to be themselves, and to have fun with whatever they’re doing. It may not be for every autistic child, but if you think your child could benefit, why not head on over to your nearby trampoline park to give it a try?