Getting Physical With The Airwalker Swing
One of the greatest challenges that an autistic child faces is with sensory integration. While most children have no problems absorbing all of the stimuli in the environment and creating an accurate mental picture of the world around them, autistic children will often struggle to do the same, meaning that they live in a world of constant confusion and change. Fortunately, there are many products out there that can help autistic children develop their sensory integration skills. One specific aspect of sensory integration that these products often target is deep touch stimulation.
In contrast to light touch pressure, such as tickling or light taps, that alerts the nervous system, there is very well documented evidence that demonstrates the calming effects of deep touch pressure (such as holding, swaddling, etc.) in all humans is very well documented. The relaxing effect of deep touch pressure is only magnified in children with autism, who often seek the comfort of compression to help calm down. Many products exist that aid in this task, including weighted blankets, compression vests, and various toys designed to provide the pressure that autistic children so often crave. One of the most versatile, helpful, and fun products available for autistic children that parents are particularly enthused about is the airwalker swing.
Designed as a completely unique physical experience, the airwalker swing is extremely valuable accessory to own for a variety of reasons. It’s snug, cocoon-like design provides 360 degree deep touch pressure on the body, which helps in the development of muscles, balance and coordination, in addition to the general tactile benefits of feeling very good on the body. The airwalker swings provides the proprioceptive input that autistic children need in order to develop better motor skills. Without this input, autistic children will often demonstrate difficulties with motor control, postural stability, and motor planning. Not only do these difficulties physically separate autistic children from their seemingly effortlessly moving peers, but they can also create feelings of mental frustration and a lower sense of self-esteem. The fun and easy proprioceptive input provided by the airwalker swing can help autistic children avoid all of these problems by helping develop their sense of control over their own bodies’ movement.
Another advantage of the airwalker swing is the fact that it is completely suspended in the air and that it can rotate freely around. The totally free suspension in the middle of the air helps autistic children develop a stronger relationship with gravity. This heightened spatial awareness and helps to stimulate the vestibular system, which is often a deficiency associated with autistic children. The vestibular system is responsible for the general senses of balance and coordination; things that non-autistic people take for granted that are often a great struggle for those with autism. By providing a safe, cocoon from which to hang, the airwalker swing helps autistic children develop stronger senses of balance and coordination, all from the comforting confines of the cocoon.
The unique design of heavy, nine ounce stretch fabric allows children and even adults to do a plethora of activities, including being totally enwrapped, laying out completely flat, sitting, standing, bouncing up and down, spinning in circles, hanging from any position, swinging back and forth through the air, or even simply resting. The various ways to have fun on the airwalker swing, in addition to its health benefits, make this a swing that is both fun and useful. The heavy fabric can support the weight of an additional child or adult, meaning that a parent or sibling can join in on the playtime along with their autistic child or brother or sister. The benefits of airwalker swings are not limited to their physical benefits; one must also think of the unique joy of freely floating in a cocoon-like apparatus.