Friday, September 18, 2015

Lycra Swing – A Great Way to Address A Child’s Spinning Behavior

By Eric Sherman

Shortly after my son received his first cochlear implant and started to become mobile, we noticed he enjoyed spinning in circles.  He would look up at the ceiling and spin in circles, laughing.  Spinning is fun for children and it also helps them learn body control, balance and focus.  Our problem was our son was constantly spinning to clearly satisfy a sensory need, it didn't seem like a game or casual fun for him.

Our pediatrician thought our son’s spinning and other sensory seeking issues may be related to his profound hearing loss and recommended we see an occupational therapist (OT).  Our OT worked on body awareness, coordination, balance, focus and control and it all helped, but our son’s spinning motion seeking behavior continued.  This not only became a problem for him throughout the day, but an issue at night.  Our son was very restless when we tried to put him to bed.

We had a backyard swing but that was not satisfying our son’s sensory needs either.  One day, while at OT with my son, I began to look around at all the apparatus and equipment they had and found my son really liked to be bounced around in this lycra hammock.  The OT would use it either as a reward to get my son to finish a task or to refocus his attention.  I quickly realized this is something I could make at home. 

I went out and purchased a large piece of nylon/lycra fabric and tied it to a carabineer which I attached to a swivel hook (items we picked up at REI and a local hardware store) and hung from a beam in our living room.  The whole set up cost me about $80 which was a lot cheaper than anything you can find in a therapy product catalog.  The fabric hung down little more than half way to the floor. Once my son was inside, his weight would pull him down to about 18-24 inches off the ground.  Everything was measured out so he wouldn’t hit the walls or the ground when swinging.

The lycra swing worked great! It gave our son a real snug feeling, while enabling us to push him in tight fast or large slow circles helping provide the sensory input he was seeking.  Our son became calmer, less fidgety and more focused.  His daily need to spin himself dramatically diminished.  At bedtime, the swing helped settle his body down allowing him to fall asleep much easier.

OT really helped our son, but it was the lycra swing that got us through the day and down for the night.  If you developed something to help address a family member’s sensory seeking needs, please share.  Hopefully, it may help someone else.

#lycraswing #cochlearimplants #autism #ciwear
                                                                                                                                                                                     
Ci Wear is a shirt designed to add a layer of protection and comfort when wearing cochlear implant (CI) processors and other listening devices. Use as a rashguard, swim shirt or an exercise shirt. Flash Sale use voucher code TAKE10. Expires 9/21/15

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