A hammock chair could be one of the best gifts you can give a child with autism. The hammock chair holds the child tight while they rock back and forth. The improvement can be immediate. Actually after fifteen minutes, the results can be dramatic, lasting throughout the day. Autistic children crave heavy pressure such as brushing, even though they'll have tactile defensiveness. They may feel like they're off balance and the reason why is due to vestibular dysfunction. This is the area of the brain that controls seeing, touching, and hearing. A dysfunctional vestibular system can cause panic attacks, leading to the famous autism tantrums.
A good portion of occupational therapy for autism focuses on sensory integration and one of the greatest tools is the swing. People with various autism spectrum disorders such as Autism, PDD, ADHD, Asperger's, proprioceptive dysfunction, and tactile defensiveness will benefit from the use of a swing (hammock chair) as part of their therapy.
The motion of swinging restores balance to the vestibular system, providing proprioceptive input (heavy pressure) and helps autistic spectrum children feel much more "in balance". The swinging motion soothes, relaxes, and improves concentration. Children who have difficulty focusing on tasks such as math and reading may find it easier to concentrate while sitting in a hammock chair as their bodies sway with a soothing motion.
Setting up a hammock chair for a swing in the home is easy and inexpensive. It can be hung from a hook and put up and taken down in seconds. It may be used indoors or outdoors. The same swinging motion and benefit may achieved from a smaller size hammock hung higher enough from one central point to be a swing or the child may enjoy just lying in the hammock and swinging. A hammock without a spreader bar will envelop and and cradle the child closer, achieving the closer feel they need.
Autistic or not really, don't we all love the feeling of relaxing in a hammock or hammock chair?
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