Autism & Trampolines
Trampolines Provide Rebound Activity for Special Children
Quality and Suitability Issues
The major retail chains have not offered rebound products that are designed for use with special needs children. The rebound quality is so low that nobody knew what quality rebound felt like. Furthermore, the typical small trampolines used for jogging exercise, so-called "joggers", are not suitable for rebounding jumping and for use by small children. The smallest outdoor trampolines had improper bounce characteristics, and most standard trampolines were too large for practical indoor use.
Autism Trampolines are manufactured by the premier manufacturer of fine trampolines in the world today. This line of trampolines was designed to meet the discriminating needs of the European market, and they currently are available only on a limited basis in North America.
Developing Trampolines for Use with Special Children
For the past several years, we have been working with one of the largest distributors in Japan that works with special needs children and their families and therapy centers in developing a line of trampoline products suitable for use with the children in therapy centers. Therapists needed trampolines small and low enough to be able to control the child but strong enough when needed to allow the therapist to jump holding the hands of the child. By combining the proper springs and spring count with the proper bed tension and better frame pads, we now have small trampolines that are suitable for younger jumpers and comfortable enough to be used frequently by their young bodies.
These units were also small enough for home use, so the child could get year round daily exercise when not in the center. Additionally, these small 5 and 6 foot diameter trampolines that we have developed can be used outdoors, which we encourage doing for as much of the year as local weather allows, since it reduces the noise and stress caused by such an active inside activity.
When Larger Trampolines are Appropriate
For older jumpers who do not require direct supervision around the perimeter of the trampoline, we provide the finest available backyard trampolines with safety net enclosures. To meet the low price demands of the mass merchandisers, the major trampoline manufactures have so lowered the specifications on their trampolines that they should not be used with special needs children. They have poor bounce and safety characteristics and their components a relatively short useful life expectancy which raises ongoing safety concerns for use with special needs children, or any children for that matter.
Trampoline Safety Issues
One of our objectives is to encourage awareness of danger in children themselves, no matter what their disability. Unfortunately, the trampoline does have an element of danger. The higher the trampoline is off the ground, the more we feel the fear of accidents is reasonable. That is one reason we love the small trampolines so much, the low height takes away much of the danger, including the hunger to do dangerous flips, etc, because of small size and tightness. These can also be used indoors or out which makes them available year round in any home or apartment situation.
In every situation, however, parents should do all of the necessary homework as it relates to their situation before deciding whether any product is suitable for use by their child.