As a child, one of the fondest memories we all have is of swinging. The feeling of the cool breeze on your face as you soar high up in the sky was an exhilarating yet awesome memory we all recall about.
It was one of the fondest memories for most of our parents and caregivers. Funnily enough, those were the few minutes of rest they could have when we as kids would finally rest at one spot long enough to swing.
Experts have always stated that swinging is one of the best ways to normalize hyperactivity in children. As a sensory tool, swing has its own set of extremely therapeutic functionalities.
In fact, what many do not know is that swinging is known to be one of the best sensory motivational therapy for autistic kids.
Swinging has a naturally calming vibe about it. It helps a child relax and calm down. An autistic child is generally wary of their surroundings. Personal interactions and too much noise worsen their cognitive abilities further.
Swing has a repetitive movement that's consistent and has no element of surprise to it. Once the child gets used to the constant movement of the swing, his or her ability to relate with the surrounding and observe the changes helps in improving his or her sensory abilities.
Still, confused if swings are right for an autistic child or not?
Swinging is believed to be one of the best natural therapy for autistic kids because of a few notable advantages it has. These includes-
Must Read This Article: The Benefits Of Swinging.
In addition to touch, smell, vision, sound, and taste, two other important sensations are required for fully functional cognitive abilities. These are movement and balance. Sadly enough an autistic child lacks in most of these sensory development aspects.
A sensory swing is a perfect accessory to begin the child’s behavioral therapy for an improved future. An autistic child is always apprehensive and stressed, however, once the repetitive soft swinging motion calms them down and relieves their stress, they begin to process their surroundings much better.
The brain slowly begins to process small sounds, voices, and even the idea of balancing themselves to remain stable during swinging. Swing works as a therapeutic medication by naturalizing the child’s surrounding into a very simple format that they can understand.
This naturalization occurs because of the eradication of all the negative catalyst that was blocking his sensations like stress, anxiety, noise, touch and even excessive movements around them.
Though there are many types of swings, however, what makes behavioral therapy more effective is the inclusion of sensory swing into the routine rather than normal swing. These swings are specially designed to be partially enclosed yet very comfortable.
The enclosed area creates a pseudo enclosed space that resembles a safety cocoon for an autistic child. Any time the child feels threatened or uncomfortable, they can simply enclose themselves in the swing and relax.
While the swinging motion calms them, the closed sides give them the vibe of protection and safety. This relaxes them sooner and also helps them assess the situation outside the wing in a better manner. Once they can make decisions themselves by using their own judgments, life is bound to improve for the better.
Sensory swings as we all know them as have an added benefit that many are not aware of. An autistic child often has trouble correlating the balance of the body and movements.
The reasons are a blend of numerous factors but most prominently it is because of the overall weak musculature and underdevelopment of the skeletal system. Swings can help in handling this issue to a great extent.
Sensory swings of particular models have been designed to improve the natural movements and cognitive abilities of autistic children. For instance, trapeze sensory swing improves the overall strength of the upper body by simply adding a very small change in the normal swing.
A child is automatically inclined towards excitement and challenge regardless of their mental or physical issues. A crash mat is added along with the swing. So each time the child swings and releases to crash into the mat, they automatically condition themselves to improve their timings.
Similarly other variants like rope sensory swings, platform sensory swing also have their own unique advantages that help in a holistic therapeutic improvement of an autistic child. The pace might be slow and require patience but the end results are often much better than any other conditional therapies and sessions.
Improved vestibular input
The pod swing is an enclosed space that offers an autistic child the solitude and the serene environment they mostly crave. They can process incoming voices and noise much better when they are not apprehensive or stressed as mentioned before.
Besides, to slowly accustom themselves to the surrounding voices and noises, pod swings can help in improving the diet of an autistic child. Instead of being forced fed, one can simply encourage the child to take the food along into his safety cocoon or the pod swing and eat at his or her own pace.
This once again reduces their apprehensiveness and gives them the required comfortable spot to eat in a completely relaxed state without anyone watching. The entire concept is to naturally instigate the child to eat food without any interruption or discomfort.
Sensory swings are one of the most brilliant inventions, one could think of gifting an autistic child. A very underrated accessory, these swings can help in changing the behavioral abilities and physical attributes of an autistic child in a very remarkable manner.
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