Your child probably already knows and enjoys an activity that is improving his or her life…….swinging on a swing. The simple act of swinging can add so many dimensions to your child’s life. Every child should have the memory of playing on a swing set, swinging to and fro. However, for a child special needs, swinging is not only an activity that he or she enjoys, it is helping your child to develop.
Many children with special needs actually learn better while swinging. It has been found that they retain more of the information being taught. Your child may have less anxiety, improved behavior, and be more focused. If taught while swinging, the sensory input has been found to aid in improved eye contact, improve children’s responses and improve speech skills.
Sensory integration therapy often includes swinging which improves fine motor skills , which includes balance, touch, and a means to better manage his or her body in space and awareness of the body position.
Playing on swings develops relationships. A shared play experience can help with imagination, communication, and interactions with others. It can provide positive experience that develops empathy for others. Swinging in your own backyard can create an activity in your child’s familiar setting that can build positive relationships within the family. When swinging with others, your child has a better understanding of others behavior and a better self awareness of his own behavior. Your child learns how to take turns, how to verbalize how he or she wants to swing, such as “higher”, “slower” and of course, “more”. Your child may have special needs, but sometimes, he or she just needs to be a kid, and swinging helps them develop socialization skills and to enjoy interacting with their peers.
American Swing Products Inc. offers many types of swing setsthat work well with special needs children. One type is a Portable Light Use Frame for a single swing that can be used inside with feet that will protect your floor or carpet. This type of frame is for slower and lower swinging. However, American Swing Products Inc. offers other frames that are available for in the ground installation that are better for more vigorous swinging. These are Metal Frames that require very little installation time, tools, or mechanical knowledge. They can be set up in an afternoon. These frames can either be for a single swing or for two or more swings. If two or more swings are put on a frame, one can be a regular swing and one can be a more supportive swing. This configuration can offer activities for siblings in a family.
One type of special needs swing offered by many American Swing Products Inc. is the JennSwing. The JennSwing is convenient because a child can be more easily lifted onto the swing and quickly strapped in. With its partially reclined, body-embracing design and easily adjustable safety harness, the JennSwing offers children a safe and comfortable fun ride. The seat is made out of durable, rotational molded plastic and will accommodate children up to 125 lbs. The seat is 14” wide x 11” deep. The seat back is 24” high and knee to foot length is 14” long. It is 45” overall and has a 3/16” thickness. The semi-reclined design offers better upper/lower body support. Leg rest gives added support and the arm rest provides lateral support. There is a fully adjustable safety harness that securely locks the child into place.
Through the activity of swinging a child with special needs can develop the desire to explore, experiment, and express their unique perspective of their world.