Special needs swings are one of the tools used for sensory integration therapy. This assists in providing the primary contribution to movement, equilibrium, and positioning awareness. Movement is essential for common development to happen in children; it has a strong impact on the brain’s facility to process and use sensory information. Swinging, jumping, turning and rocking are fun and also help their bodies sort out and adjust their sensory systems. Therapists, teachers and parents can use these devices effectively to reinforce any therapy objectives, or they can be used as a reward for positive behavior.
Swinging equipment may vary, including doorway mounted frames and a free standing design as well, to name a few. Some units available are easy to put together, and are able to be moved around with minimal hassle. Doorway units do not interfere in the actual function of your door, and may be easily taken off and relocated to another area.
When searching for the right equipment, it is of vital importance to consider all safety aspects. It is advisable that an adult is there to supervise the child at all times. You should also take note of the floor, as you do not want it to be slippery. Head protection should be worn, and you must ensure that the device is able to support the user.
There are some factors to keep in mind if you are considering a specialized swing, for example, if the child is unable to hold reliably, they may require a specialized harness, comprising of shoulder, crotch and waist straps to fully ensure safety. Kids with lower muscle tone and poor control of their heads may require a high back type of chair that has a headrest to avoid whiplash from occurring.
An adjustable foot support will enable the child to feel more comfortable and supported in the seat, especially if they are prone to extend in a moment of excitement. Seats with an adjustable backrest are ideal, as this will allow you use the unit as the child grows. Deciding on a swing that offers an easy method to adjust the height of the actual seat will also make moving the device a lot easier.
Some children may also need help in order to acclimatize to this new experience of moving through air. This can be done by starting with short, slow, gentle pushes. Supervisors must be quick to recognize any distress signs of the non-verbal kids. Do not force a child to participate if they do not seem to enjoy or tolerate long periods or stronger pushes.
Swings for kids in wheelchairs will require adults to set them into place. The added weight of a wheelchair may well make swinging harder for the child. They may need to use a pull rope or get assistance.
When looking at units that incorporate a wheelchair, it is important that the device offers a pommel or handle. A footrest and an adjustable harness should also be available. The height of the seat, as well as the position should easily be able to be adjusted. Some of these special needs swings have reduced side-to-side motion and twisting abilities. This will give a stable and gentle platform for the child. All children must be closely supervised at all times when making use of this equipment.
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