Swings are crucial to the occupational therapy of children with ADD, ADHD, Autism, and Sensory Integration issues. Sensory experiences include movement, sight, sound, body awareness, touch, and gravity. Sensory integration is the process within the brain to interpret and sort this information. Most people don’t have a problem combining all of their senses. However, for those suffering from autism it is overwhelming trying to process stimuli from sight, smell, touch, sound, taste, body and balance. Occupational therapists often incorporate swings into therapy sessions with autistic children because the swinging motion allows the child to focus on their body awareness.
Some children will enjoy the swaying motion and will relax while using the swing. However, children with Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID) also suffering from vestibular dysfunction might not like the swing at first. For these children, it’s more about regaining balance and learning to tolerate vestibular stimulation. The vestibular sense enables the brain to process the body’s movement, balance, and gravity.
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