Last year we got a trampoline. It hadn’t been something we intended to get, but the lovely people at the Family fund (http://www.familyfund.org.uk/) gave us a grant for one, and so our back garden was transformed into a bouncing area! The boys loved it, and that is putting it VERY mildly.
The amount of time spent out on the trampoline was huge. We bought a tent to go over it, and so the boys were able to spend time out there in all weathers. Their poor Dad would not even have time to take his coat off from work before being bombarded with requests to go out for a bounce. It was a great bonding time for all three of my boys!
I don’t like the feeling of the movement it makes so it is not something I go on. In fact, it scares me like mad the couple of times I have tried to get on, and the panic attack I had the last time I tried scared the boys so much I have vowed not to try again. Somethings you can do, and somethings you can’t, and for me trampolining is definitely a can’t!
During the autumn storms the winds took the whole thing off the ground and deposited it into the next door garden. The gap between our houses is just 10ft, the size of the trampoline so how it got through without damaging anything apart from itself was amazing. Our lovely neighbours helped return it to our garden after the shock of finding it blocking their front door!
The tent was totally trashed, but the main body was undamaged apart from a couple of the poles that hold up the safety net were a little bent and a couple of rips in the actual netting. We were very lucky.
We decided as we were heading into winter there was no point replacing the damaged bits as it was still usable if there were to be dry days.
The rips in the netting however got bigger and so we decided it was now time to go about making it fit for purpose again. This week a new net and poles arrived, and Hubby got it put together, coming home from work early to surprise the boys with it. They must have heard the screams of excitement 10 miles away as they ran out and were on it the rest of the afternoon, only coming in when their tummys decided to have tea!
The joy a trampoline brings is immense as well as it being great exercise. D can while away many an hour playing his personal games in total solitude but equally he loves it when he shares the experience with his Dad, and brother.
There has been much written about the therapeutic benefits of the trampoline and how the sensory nature of it can be beneficial for children with autism – I suggest you just google trampolines and autism because the information is vast. I believe it is the freedom of the movements that can help with co-ordination, and give a dedicated sensory experience which it is believed might help reduce stress and anxiety – for ASD as well as neuro typical child and adults I imagine. For my boys I think it is a place they can let go and relieve all their pent-up energy by just letting rip! It is a safe place to let D go when he is about to explode and it can bring him back down to a level that isn’t so explosive.
I would say, anyone thinking about getting a trampoline, needs to read up on the benefits of it beyond the fitness. For my kids it has been an amazing help – we just need to replace the tent so they can again use it in all weathers!!