Sensory Compression Swings
Using a sensory compression swing can provide a range of benefits for children with sensory processing disorders. Vestibular movement and proprioceptive input (deep pressure) can organize the sensory system helping a child process and interact with the environment around them. Here are some of the benefits:
- Helps regulate emotions
- Improves motor skills
- Provides a sense of security
- Encourages imaginative play
- Increases body awareness
- Reduces anxiety and stress
- Develop balance and coordination
- Enhances sensory integration Improve attention and focus
- Encourages deep breathing
Adverse Reactions: While sensory swings have many benefits, some children may have adverse reactions. If you observe any of the following, immediately end the swing session. In some cases, adverse reactions can occur after using the swing. Nausea or vomiting Dizziness Frustration or agitation Headaches and dilated eyesure disorder, consult with a pediatrician before using a swing.
Getting started: Some children may be hesitant to try out a swing. Model how to get in the swing, position your body while in the swing, and use the swing. Place items in the swing the child enjoys! Never force a child!
Things children can do in a sensory compression swing!
- Linear Vestibular Movement: Linear movement (back and forth) provides a sense of rhythm and can be a soothing experience for children. Great for just before bed, or Before ending swing sessions.
- Vestibular Movement: Vestibular movement (spin in circles) can help improve balance and coordination, communication, and is great for children who seek out movement. Great to incorporate during times of the day when the child is especially active or needs a mental break such as after school.
- Superman Swinging: The child should lay on their tummy with their hands outside the swing. Place items on the floor or wall and have the child use their hands to move and retrieve the items.
- Blast off: Have the child lay on their back (or their tummy) and push off of a yoga ball or the wall. Caution: when a swing is positioned near a wall the child should be monitored to prevent head injury.
- Obstacle Course: Incorporate the swing into an obstacle course! Have the child move through the swing, or gather times in the swing.
- Relaxation and Calming: Swings can be a safe haven for children as they block out visual input and provide deep pressure input to help calm the sensory system. Use the swing as a tool to help reduce behaviors that could escalate or a place the child can go to get some space.
- Clip and hang: Use clothes pins or chip clips to hang favorite items on the swing and have the child retrieve the items.
- Swing Exercise: Children can work on their motor planning skills and strengthening by performing snow angels or jumping jacks while lying on their back in the swing.
- Flashlight Game: Use a light and place it somewhere on the outside of the swing. The child searches for the light and identifies where it is.
- Independent Swinging: Let the child chose how they want to play in the swing.