Bounce Houses Provide Sensory Input for Children with Autism
If you have children, the fact that they love to jump on furniture is no secret - whether they have autism or not. But while neurotypical children may have fun jumping on the couch every now and then, the activity serves an important purpose for children with autism - it checks a box that children without autism don’t have.
Jumping is enjoyable for children with autism because it’s soothing, and it provides sensory input with a repetitive bouncing action.
Searching for an Outlet
If your child has autism and is constantly bouncing on the couch, she may be doing more than just releasing pent-up energy.
An autistic child’s body needs input. Occupational therapists call this “proprioceptive input,” which refers to the input the body receives through the joints and muscles. The body receives this input through various activities like pushing, pulling, lifting, or jumping.
This is the main reason why children with autism love to bounce - and we love that they love to bounce, because it’s a beneficial way to receive stimulation, and it isn’t harming anyone.
At least, it’s not harming people. After a while, your couch might start to take a beating.
Reasons Behind the Jump
As you look for solutions to your child’s constant jumping, it’s important to find the root cause of the behavior. In some cases, it’s because your child enjoys the act of repetition. If that’s the case, the solution is simple. You just need to find a place she can jump that is meant to be bounced on.
For some, this means a mini-trampoline with handles to grab onto for balance. For others with a bigger solution in mind, it means an inflatable bounce house. More on that in a bit!
Whatever solution you choose for your repetition-craving child, make sure to fit in a few sessions of it throughout the day. You might place one of the sessions an hour or so before bedtime (not directly before, because you don’t want to wind him or her up) to get out the last of the day’s energy.
In some cases, children with autism crave bouncing because of sensory issues they have. If that’s the case, talking it over with your child’s occupational therapist is the best route to take, because there may be alternatives that are less disruptive than the constant bounce.
Once you figure out the input that your child craves, along with a safe way to deliver it, you may notice your child feeling and acting calmer, along with an increased degree of awareness towards her surroundings. She’ll feel much better with her needs met, which won’t just improve her mood, but yours as well. You may notice her attention span lengthening, and you may be able to enjoy activities, like homework or sitting down for dinner, that you never could before.
The Inflatable Bounce House Solution
Furniture doesn’t come cheap. If your child is constantly jumping on the couch, you’ll notice wear and tear before long - and a sagging couch doesn’t offer much comfort. There are plenty of other bouncy solutions for your child with autism, though, that will fulfill her sensory needs in the same way the couch does.
You might start off with a mattress, a mountain of pillows, or an exercise ball, but if you’ve got a skilled jumper on your hands that needs more room to play, there’s no better option than an inflatable bounce house.
The inflatable bounce houses that we offer at Pogo Bounce House have more room than a pillow fort, couch, and mattress put together. With tons of options to choose from, from a Dream House to a Sports Arena, there’s something for all the bounce-lovers out there. Our bounce houses are meant for kids who love to jump, and they provide an environment where your little one can do so safely. They’re a great investment, as they’ll last and last and you won’t have to worry about them sustaining the damage that your furniture suffers.
In an inflatable bounce house, your child with autism can jump and jump until their mind and body feel content and at ease. Make sure to monitor her activity at all times, just like you would if she were bouncing on the couch.
The Inflatable Alternative
Once you find the bouncy alternative that helps your child calm their body down, make sure to share it with loved ones in your circle. They’ll be just as glad that you and your child found a solution!
Please note that, while those of us at Pogo Bounce House care a great deal about the health and well-being of your child, we are not medical experts. We are simply sharing what has worked for others in our community. If you have any questions, consult your child’s doctor.