7 Special Needs Swing (Sensory & Therapy) – The Guide 2019

Is there a child in this whole universe who’s averse to swinging? Conventional swing sets are great cues for childhood memories.

But today, a special needs swing is therapeutic for kids who suffer from autism and other related problems like Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and overall Developmental Delay.

Apart from this, kids with any of these problems can find relief for sensory integration and problems concerning balance or vestibular therapy.

As we all know, play is a vital part of every child's growing years for all-around physical, social and mental development.

So, whether your child is normal or you have a special needs child, why not invest in one of these swings for special needs and see how your child blossoms? 


  • Age range: 3 years and older
  • Top 3 qualities: 1.For larger and heavier kids; 2.Good for sensory stimulation; 3.Improves motor skills, coordination, and balance

The 2019 version of this model is now 40% larger so that larger or heavier kids can also swing in it and have a better user experience. It is beneficial for kids with special needs as it is designed to provide sensory stimulation in all kinds of positions, offering hours of fun.

Unknown to the child, it comforts and swaddles him, improving his sense of balance, motor skills, and coordination. It also works on giving him stronger muscles.

It is made of 95% cotton and 5% spandex, which stretches, is washable and durable. Its weight bearing capacity is 45.3 kg and works well for kids three years old and above. It is user-friendly, and kids adapt to it almost right away.

It comes with instructions and the necessary hardware, needs adult supervision and is ideal for both the indoors and outdoors. 

Pros.
  • It is extremely easy to install.
  • The fabric used is very stretchy and soft to touch.
  • It uses robust hardware.
  • It’s a great product for sensory issues. 
Cons.
  • A user complained that the day it was installed, it broke and hit the child sitting in it.
  • After 10 days of use, the material developed holes.

  • Age range: 13 years and older
  • Top 3 qualities: 1.Ideal for kids with autism, SPD and Asperger’s;
    2.Calms the child; 3.The child learns spatial awareness, balance, and coordination 

Give your little one something to enjoy himself and work off that unnecessary anxiety. The Quility Indoor Therapy Swing is a cuddle swing that uses four-way fabric that stretches-- 80% polyester and 20% lycra.

This combination makes it soft and comfortable, durable and lasting. This allows your special needs child to sit in it, lay down or swing in it for as long as he or she wants, without worrying if the fabric is going to tear under his weight.

If you find him swaddling in it, don’t worry as this gives him some protection and staves off any unwanted sensory input. If your child suffers from autism, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome or Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), this swing will surely do him a lot of good.

It’s particularly recommended for kids three years and more.

Using this swing, your child learns to sync his bodily activities with his brain. This gives him a better sense of balance, coordination, concentration and body awareness. It also strengthens the muscles of the child’s head, neck and spinal muscles which improve his ability to walk and run.

It is easy to install, both indoors and outdoors. For any help, users can refer to the instruction manual. 

Pros.
  • It’s a great fun toy and extremely versatile for kids to sit in, lay down in or hang on, swing and spin.
  • Once inside, children adjust to it quickly.
  • It’s great for calming down kids just as they go to bed.
  • Children can regulate their emotions and get more required positive stimulation from this playset.
Cons.
  • Installation is difficult without the required information and equipment.
  • It's affordably priced.

  • Age range: 3 years+
  • Top 3 qualities: 1.Perfect for kids with low muscle tone, autism, and related problems; 2.Helps the child with balance, coordination, focus, and attention; 3.Sturdy and comfortable

Don’t let your kid with special needs just sit around. Give him something to do and enjoy himself with.

How about a Fun and Function Mesh Therapy Swing?

Not only will he enjoy himself in it but with constant use, his muscle tone, hyperactivity, autism, and sensory processing disorder will come to normal.

The design of this mesh swing is on-the-go, due to its portability and lightweight structure. So, you can travel with it too. It is made of the best quality polyester mesh and nylon cords. Its carrying capacity is 91 kg. It is easy to clean its stains and is highly durable.

You can either hang this sensory mesh swing from the ceiling or from the doorway bar or use it lying down or sitting with a couple of carabiners. Its stylish design keeps kids busy, coordinated, in balance and calm, hammock-style swing.

It is meant for kids three years and more. 

Pros.
  • Installation is easy.
  • The product is comfortable and sturdy. 
  • It helps bring relief to problems like lack of coordination, moods, and attention, etc.
  • Children have a great time on it.
Cons.
  • Hardware has to be purchased separately, thereby raising costs.
  • It lacks hanging equipment.

  • Age range: NA
  • Top 3 qualities: 1.Gentle swing movement bring about balance; 2.Spacious with peephole; 3.Cotton material does not stretch under pressure

For your three-year-old child or older, the Sorbus hanging seat hammock is a cozy and great hangout to swing inside. It keeps them relaxed where they can read, listen to music, play their favorite games and turn on their iPads, tablets or drift away into their imagination.

With the gentle movement of this nest swing chair, they learn body balance as this playset encourages kids to get over their hyperactivity and sensory needs.
The swing chair is made of 100% cotton that doesn’t give way under pressure.

It doesn’t fade either and is easy to spot clean. Its carrying capacity is 113 kg. It calls for some amount of adult supervision.

It is spacious and comfortable, and its large round frame with an enticing peephole window lets kids look out from the angle they choose. It gives kids a lot of strength while the nest swing chair continues to remain stationary.

It is easy to install, whether indoors or outdoors and calls for the minimal assembly. The pack includes instructions and the necessary hardware. It is also easy to take down and relocate.

You can choose to hang it from anywhere—posts, strong trees, ceilings or swing sets for a good hammock-like suspension. It is ideal for kids of all ages. The pack is accompanied by hardware, instructions, and a swing chair.

Pros.
  • It can accommodate three kids at a time.
  • It is sturdy and well-constructed.
  • It is easy to set up.
  • It’s a great place for kids to hide and relax.
Cons.
  • The instructions are very poor.
  • The rope is far too thin to bear the weight of the swing.

  • Age range: 3-8 years
  • Top 3 qualities: 1.Children learn balance and body perception; 2.Robust cotton canvas makes user experience delightful; 3.Hang it up and take it down equally easily

For kids between the ages of three years and nine, who want to play a lot, here’s something you can hang in their room where they can just hang loose or play.

This tent swing is made of superb quality cotton canvas that’s both durable and soft. It also comes with an inflatable cushion that’s detachable and is made from lightweight PVC.

It’s easy to install with the hanging hook that’s part of the package. To take this indoor hanging chair for kids, just deflate the cushion and fold this space-saving swing.

Its weight-bearing capacity is about 80 kg, but it can still be extremely safe for your kids to enter and read in, listen to music or watch TV.

For kids with special needs, this helps develop balance and body awareness. It can be hung up outdoors or indoors. Either way, your kids are going to love it. 

Pros.
  • It’s great value for money.
  • The pod has a locking facility on top which enhances user safety.
  • It is easy to install and unhook.
  • Vibrant and well-designed
Cons.
  • The pack lacks the hardware to attach the swing to the ceiling.
  • The inflatable pod does not hold any air.

  • Age range: NA
  • Top 3 qualities: 1.Portable, durable and lightweight; 2.Kids can use it for any purpose; 3.Children with sensory problems will benefit by using it

The green hammock from Driftsun is just right for both boys and girls. It is made of thick, heavy fabric which goes around the child like a blanket and makes him feel safe and secure.

When stretched and in suspended mode, it is firm enough to take a child’s weight. Reinforced stitching and an inflatable pillow are key features to make this one stand out in its category.

Its weight-bearing capacity is 80 kg, and its design is simple and good. Installation is easy, and it is strong enough to resist normal wear and tear.

You can mount this swing either indoors or in your patio, balcony, porch, front or back yard or any other convenient place.

Your kids can use it to relax, listen to music, read a book or just chill. Kids with special needs benefit from using this hammock chair by developing balance and being aware of their bodies. Overall, it helps those with sensory needs.

Pros.
  • Very strong fabric
  • Easy and quick installation
  • It’s fun and relaxing for kids with special needs.
  • The colors in this range are vibrant and what children like.
Cons.
  • The package lacks hardware.
  • Very cheaply made

  • Age range: 3 years+
  • Top 3 qualities: 1.Great fun while teaching vestibular stimulation and spatial knowledge; 2.Ideal for kids with SPD and related problems; 3.Material negates the possibility of bagging in stressed areas

Kids will love this therapy swing as it provides them with all the spinning and movement it needs to give them a good time.

The swing spins in rotation, and it is made of flexible and stretch material that helps kids with special needs improve in various ways. These are spatial knowledge, balance issues, and sensory integration therapy.

This cotton-spandex material used for the swing stretches in four directions and has a natural and soft feel. So, it does not bag in stressed areas of the swing.

This is not just a swing for an autistic child but also for those kids and teens with problems like ADHD, autism, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and Asperger's Syndrome. They also remain calm with deep pressure therapy.

It is easy to install and does not require an instruction manual. It is also washable and can be machine-dried. It is ideal for users three years of age and above. 

Pros.
  • It is sturdy, well-designed and overall a great product.
  • It stretches and molds to the user's body perfectly. 
  • It is easy to mount. 
  • It’s a fun experience for kids. 
Cons.
  • Some kids find it tough to get into.
  • Hardware is not included.

What Exactly Are Special Needs Swings?

How do we understand the term “kids with special needs"? This refers to a child who might need just a little help with walking or getting around due to a medical, learning or emotional problem.

Such kids have special needs which other kids might not need. This is because they need therapy, medicine or help in school.

Perhaps, you've come across some children who need a wheelchair to move around, or they are in braces.

Special Needs Swing

These are two kinds of special needs: 

They need personal equipment to get around like wheelchairs, or they may also need elevators or ramps, or both. Quite often, they also need a special bus that’s fitted with steps that especially lift them up into the bus and put them on the ground too.

Yet another kind of special needs for kids are:

swing seats and swings.

These are important for children who have problems with sensory integration. These special needs swing seats are meant for kids, but there are models for adults too.

These specialized swings work on an individual’s vestibular function, and develop their spatial capabilities and give them enhanced core control.

In the realm of swings, many kinds could help kids with special needs. 

  • platform swings, 
  • wheel swing platforms, 
  • high back swing seats, 
  • strap swings and 
  • cuddle swings. 

These specialized swings provide children with special needs with the necessary exercises related to balance and avoiding dizziness, apart from sensory integration.

What Is Sensory Integration?

For normal human beings, sensory messages are processed from our environment and our bodies. We then interpret these messages and respond in an organized manner.

This is possible when we receive information about feelings or sensations and can send back our responses through the central nervous system and nerves along the spinal cord and brain and other surrounding areas.

This constantly happens as we move from one task to another throughout our days and we respond accordingly to them. All inputs that we receive are solely through our five organs of hearing, seeing, smelling, touching and tasting and our body's senses touching, and body position.

Each of our senses acts one by one and sometimes in concert with one or more of the others to send us specific information about our surroundings and our body in each of our environments.

This may be the normal course of events for all human beings. However, some individuals suffer from a condition called autism, which can be seen among kids too.

Such children could suffer a problem with processing their sensory messages. Children, therefore, cannot respond correctly to the messages they get and are therefore different from the normal.

They need specialized help, one kind of therapy being swings.

Different Types of Therapy Swings for Special Needs

According to therapists, sensory integration therapy for kids with special needs should be what the child wants. So, it is up to the child to choose the kind of swing that he or she feels comfortable in. Some love to enjoy the feeling of having squeezes, hugs and a lot of muscle pressure.

It has been found that therapy swings made of spandex material are beneficial for kids as it gives them a hug and some movement too. In fact, by using this kind of swing, children could improve in their ability to pay attention and have better focus.

If some kids are low in energy and are found to be dull and sleepy, they could benefit by having a swing that provides for movement in several directions. A good example of this is the tire swing.

For someone trying to buy the best swing for a child, consulting an occupational therapist is the best way out. He will provide a complete sensory profile of the child since their sensory needs keep changing according to different times of the day and from sense to sense. 

Choosing the Right Swing for Special Needs

When a child can process messages regarding balance, it means he's using his sense of sight and posture and maintaining proper balance, moving, planning his moves, staying calm and exhibiting normal behavior.

According to occupational and physical therapists, swinging is essential to special needs kids because this can help them dip into the inner ear’s power that gives the body its balance.

The swing has been a tool of therapy for kids suffering from Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and general Developmental Delay. 

Factors to Look For When Choosing a Swing

If you’re looking for a swing for your special needs kid, these are some factors to bear in mind when choosing one:

1. Does it provide linear rocking?

Though the ultimate choice of a swing for your kid with special needs depends on his sensory system, yet a lot also depends on the linear rocking movement the swing may provide. This movement is generally considered calming for the child and, hence, is preferred.

A swing with circular movement is very stimulating for the child. If a swing is to be placed in a classroom or in a study zone, a swing with gentle rocking is ideal.

2. Your Child Can Benefit from Dynamic Movement

Some children lack the necessary practice with balance or a good posture. There may be others who don't respond well to issues relating to balance.

These problems can be eased by using a swing that provides them with a lot of dynamic movement like the Moon Swing which comes with a well-developed procedure for use.

3. Is Your Child’s Spatial Sense Low?

Perhaps, you’ve found that your child’s awareness of his body and his spatial knowledge are wanting. He obviously needs deep touch pressure to help his joint receptors and muscles to function well.

A swing like the Cocoon Swing or even the Cuddle Swing might be right for him as they could calm him down and normalize his behavior.

4. Choose a Flat-Base Swing for Motor Tasks

For children to have good eye-hand coordination and to excel in motor skills, having a flat-base swing is good.

With this, your child can develop his motor skills, such as sitting, standing, kneeling or lying on his stomach, etc. The swings ideal for these tasks are the Soft Ride Glider or the Platform Swing.

5. Get the Right Hardware for Safe Installation

Be sure you have the proper hardware and installation instructions for all ceiling mounted or stand along swing frames.

Swing hardware and frames should be inspected regularly for signs of wear. Adult supervision is recommended for all swing activities.

Benefits of Swings with Special Needs

Children who suffer from autism and SPD cannot process sensory information the way others do.

This means that they constantly get sensory information which they don’t know how to handle. This frightens them to the extent that even walking becomes difficult because they don’t know the mechanism involved in walking.

Enrolling to a swing therapy course helps such individuals to retain and filter out sensory data efficiently.

How it works: 

By attempting to create a normal environment, swing introduces the necessary sensory information the child requires. With this, the child improves in many ways. 

Here are the many benefits that special needs swings bring to children:

1. Balance, motor skills and coordination

Children between two and four years of age learn to pump as they swing. Though this may mean tough work for them, yet they learn trunk and stomach control and to keep to time.

Sensory swings also help enhance coordination and balance. Children who have trouble with processing data related to balance don’t know how to move around in their surroundings.

They have little or no sense of judgment, so cannot tell when and how far to jump. They might also find it difficult to write or zip up their jackets.

But the moment such children sit in a sensory swing, they become confident that their bodies are safe, even though their feet are off the ground. When they learn these little things, their balance skills and motor coordination improve significantly. 

2. Calm Feeling

For a special needs child, a hammock swing is just right to relax him, particularly since he is anxiety-ridden.

The swaying movement of the hammock does wonders for him as they soon stop being overwhelmed by their surroundings and turn calm and relaxed. Consequently, they can concentrate and focus better and be part of several activities.

Deep Pressure Therapy and a swing’s oscillatory movement allow the child to organize things better in his mind. If his nervous system was overwhelmed just a few minutes ago, the effect of the swing gives him a lot of relief.

That’s because sensory swings allow autistic children to reach a proper balance. It also helps increase a child’s concentration during study time. 

3. Locational Awareness

When a child is seated in a sensory swing, the fabric lays pressure on his sensory receptors. This is also called the Deep Pressure Therapy.

Through this therapy, the child can feel his body movements and sense an outstretched arm or a bent knee. Through such experiences, the child can have a better understanding of where his body is located. 

4. Strengthens Muscles

By using swing therapy regularly, the child’s muscle tone improves since a variety of swinging positions come into play to target the several muscle groups. For your child to have a strong neck and head muscles, let him swing on his abdomen.

If his core muscles are weak, roll up the swing’s fabric as in the case of a conventional swing. The fact that he lacks support on his back will help him strengthen his stomach muscles and sport a better posture.

5. Focus and Attentiveness

Swinging can help a child with special needs be more alert and focus better as the blood surges to the brain.

6. Great all-body Workout

A swing can be a good workout for the entire body, particularly the arms, legs, and core.

7. Sense of Motion and Awareness of Balance

We may all have the five senses of smell, feel, taste, sight, and sound. But by using the sensory swing, children with special needs also learn to have a sense of motion and awareness of balance. By using a special needs swing, children can understand the world and their space from a unique perspective.

8. Mood Booster

By rocking or swinging on a swing, a child’s moods can take an upturn. Deep Pressure Therapy increases serotonin levels by a whopping 28%. On the other hand, cortisol, the stress hormone decreases by 31%.

While parents are happy to watch their kids at play, whether it’s giving their swing a push or just being present when they swing, the sensory swing becomes an item that bonds parents and child very strongly.

What kind of swing can work for a special needs teen?

Though there may be many build-it-yourself play equipment for special needs teens.

But two really stand out in terms of answering the needs of such teens. 

>>1. The Adaptive Swing Seat, introduced by Swing-N-Slide, comes to you like a seat that resembles a roller coaster car but is, in fact, a swing.

It comprises a bar that one can lift to let the teen in and then locks shut for better security. By using this swing, the user’s shoulders, neck, waist and back get good support so that he or she can keep a neutral body position and enjoy the game of swinging.

There’s also a second robust swing seat for more play games. 

>>2. The second type of swing that can help your teen is the Harkla Therapy Swing. This swing too helps your teen relax and become spatially aware.
This swing is made of premium grade and comfy canvas which your teen will take to very well.

The Harkla Therapy Swing is good to remedy Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the inability to process sensory information. In cocoon style, this swing gives teens a huge hug. It can be hung from the ceiling.

It calms teens, helps him or her to develop body control and rids the user of anxiety and stress. 

Conclusion

When choosing a swing for your special needs child, never lose sight of his sensory needs. Your child may have a different preference from other kids in a similar situation.

So, see what your child would like to have and go with that—even if it means buying the best special needs swing.

Next, the age of your child is another consideration. If yours is a toddler, you need to see that the swing you want has holes for legs. Not only are they easy to set up, but they aren’t unaffordable either.

For older kids, platform swings might be a good solution so that they can sit down, lie down or stand in them.

These are just some of the many things you should look at when choosing a special needs swing. There may be more which you will come across in your buying expedition. 

One Response

Leave a Reply