Role of Swings in the Home

Outdoor swing

How can daily access of swings help the child with SPD or ASD?

My philosophy/charge is to use as many resources to make the greatest amount of change in the nervous system of every child. The swing/swings in the home is an ideal place to change the child’s nervous system. There are swings for calming (compression/lycra), there are swings for excitation (trapeze bar/donut swing, etc…) and once they are set up it super convenient to just go to the basement, family room, garage or outside for immediate access. Therapy is expensive. We/I want to make the greatest amount of change in the nervous system and I feel we must help provide the frequency/intensity/duration and most of all convenience.

Can swings contribute to flexible thinking, social interaction, etc…?

My favorite Stanley Greenspan quote is, “The greater the child’s physical flexibility, the greater the child’s emotional flexibility”. All those kids (I have worked with over the years) who had gravitational insecurity, poor body schema, avoidance of crossing midline, etc… They have all benefited from their in-home swings. We have encouraged our kids to swing with siblings, cousins, neighbors, etc… swings in your home can and often does open the potential for a social avenue for the child. “If you build it, they will come”, from movie Field of Dreams. I have seen this in action with many kids over the years.

Swings are FUN! They should be part of every childhood.

The list of benefits from swinging goes on and on: increased eye contact, eye/head/body separation, midline crossing, vestibular modulation, laughter, joy (don’t see many sad faces on Disney rides), weight bearing, palmer grasp reflex inhibition, prone extension, protective reactions, increase in expressive speech, increase in self-dressing, openness to try new things, etc… I think you get the drift.

Plus, swings are now found in many homes with kids that are just “typical”. It is cool to have your own “Neurologic Gym” in your own living space? I sure think so!