Adil jumps feet-first into sensory activity sessions
20 Jan 2020
For Adil, who is supported at Roman House in Milton Keynes, the sunken trampoline in the garden provides hours of fun and sensory stimulation. During the winter months, when the weather can be cold and unpredictable, Adil’s support team found that he missed his regular activity time on the trampoline.
In December 2019, Adil and his support workers decided to try the new sensory sessions at the local indoor trampoline park. With minimal lighting, music and noise, the sensory sessions are designed specifically for people with autism.
Helena Piper, Deputy Manager at Roman House explains, “Let’s face it, exercise is good for all of us – we’re always being told how great it is for our bodies and our minds. As well as the physical benefits, jumping on a trampoline helps to relieve stress and, for people with autism, can help with impulse control. Adil loves using the trampolines in the garden, so being able to access the trampoline park during a less busy time has been great for him!”
Sometimes referred to as “rebound therapy,” bouncing on a trampoline has a whole host of benefits for people with learning disabilities and autism:
Physical wellbeing: As as the more obvious benefit of building muscle tone, getting the heart pumping and burning calories, jumping on a trampoline builds physical and motor skills, improving balance and coordination. The repetitive movement teaches the body how to read and interpret the signals that it may otherwise struggle to recognise or understand, improving motor control. Trampolining provides an opportunity to participate in physical activity which is free of complicated rules, without the stress of competition.
Emotional wellbeing: Bouncing strengthens more than just the body. The repetition of the bouncing movement can help to manage or replace other common repetitive behaviours, which helps to relieve stress. The movement of bouncing up and down on a trampoline can also provide relief of tension and anxiety and the jumping motion also releases endorphins, allowing the jumper to feel calmer and more positive.
Helena continues, “No matter how beneficial an activity is for the people we support, the effect is lost if the environment is wrong. If a venue is too crowded, too loud, or too busy, it can be totally overwhelming. Our local Bounce centre run these quieter, calmer, sensory sessions every Monday, so we are hoping to incorporate them into Adil’s activity plan throughout the winter months.”