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Is Trampoline Therapy for Autism Spectrum Right for You or Your Loved One?

Considering trampoline therapy for your loved one on the Spectrum? Explore the pros and cons in a detailed and honest analysis. Make the best choice for your family! 

min read

Is Trampoline Therapy for Autism Spectrum Right for You or Your Loved One?

Trampoline therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) comes with many benefits, both in physical and mental skill development.  

If you are the caregiver of a child on the Autism Spectrum, a trampoline could be a valuable tool.    

While they can be hugely beneficial, a trampoline may not be the right fit for all situations.   

We will use our expertise at Springfree to provide the pros and cons of trampoline therapy for ASD.  

After reading this, you will have the power to make an informed decision for your family. Let’s jump in! 

6 Pros of Trampoline Therapy for ASD  

Let’s first go over the six major benefits of trampolines for individuals with autism.  

We should also mention trampolines can be hugely helpful for individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Dyspraxia and Cerebral Palsy, among others.  

Our focus in this article will be on ASD, but we want to make sure to mention that trampoline therapy can be useful for individuals with various neurodiversities. Many of these same benefits will apply.   

1. Numerous Health Benefits  

Trampoline jumping comes with several benefits for your physical health, including:  

  • Improving heart health/cardiovascular system.  
  • Strengthening bones and muscles. 
  • Easy on your joints. 
  • Great for balance and coordination. 
  • Helps in weight management.  
  • Excellent for your core.  

There’s evidence that trampoline jumping can aid in the physical development of children with ASD.   

One study in Portugal found that “the trampoline-based training significantly contributed to the improvement of both the motor proficiency and strength of the inferior limbs” in autistic children.   

A mother watching her son jump in mid-air on a Springfree Trampoline.

Springfree Trampoline. 

2. Sensory Skill Development   

Trampoline therapy for ASD can also be a huge help in developing the sensory skills of individuals with autism.   

Trampolines serve to navigate the sensory processing stimuli (input and output) through movement.   

Besides the common senses (sight, smell, see, touch, hearing), bouncing on a trampoline helps with developing the vestibular and proprioceptive systems.   

The vestibular system is primarily concerned with balance and head movement, while the proprioceptive system is related to body awareness.   

Both are crucial skills that can be advanced with trampoline jumping.  

3. Motor Skill Development   

Motor skills, like sitting, standing, walking, running and jumping, can be improved by trampoline exercise.  

A trampoline helps train balance and coordination, working multiple muscle groups simultaneously.  It can also improve spatial awareness.   

4. Stress-Relieving  

One of the major benefits of trampolines is they can be a place to relieve stress.  

Jumping is a form of stimming for autistic individuals. The rhythmic and repetitive bouncing motion can be calming and reduce anxiety.   

5. Mood-Enhancer  

Lastly, bouncing on a trampoline can help lead to a positive mood state.  

Exercise releases endorphins, the chemical signals in the brain associated with happiness and well-being. 

Since jumping is fun for a lot of kids, it can help motivate them to get active and consistent exercise.    

6. Can Help Educational Skills 

It can be challenging for autistic individuals to learn in traditional schooling environments.   

Using a trampoline for education may help lead to better learning outcomes for those with ASD.   

For example, you could call out questions from school while your child is jumping on the trampoline.   

They might be able to focus more on a trampoline than sitting at a desk in class. It also associates learning with having fun! 

A child playing on a table while laying on a trampoline mat.

 

Springfree Trampoline. 

3 Cons of Trampoline Therapy for ASD  

While trampolines have many benefits, they won’t be a fit for everyone. 

Here are a few cons to consider before deciding whether trampoline therapy for ASD is right for you:  

1. Safety Concerns 

There is some injury risk to trampolines, especially if you don’t have a safe model.   

It’s important to assess your child’s physical health before buying a trampoline.  

If they have certain physical limitations, a trampoline may not be the best fit. It would be best to consult your doctor before starting.  

Luckily, there are plenty of actions to mitigate the risk of injury. They include:  

  • Buying a trampoline with strong safety features.  
  • Following a “One Jumper at a Time” Rule. 
  • Always adhere to the trampoline’s weight limit 
  • No flipping or stunts.  
  • Providing adequate supervision.  
  • Jumping toward the center of the mat – important for beginner jumpers.  
  • Never go underneath the trampoline. 
  • Properly maintaining your trampoline, including replacing parts as needed.  
  • Purchasing a trampoline ladder for easy exit/entry.   

A trampoline ladder: 

A child stepping on a trampoline ladder.

 

Springfree Trampoline.  

2. Cost   

The next con to trampoline therapy is the cost.  

You will likely need to purchase a home trampoline to reap the long-term benefits of trampoline jumping.   

(Some trampoline parks may offer Sensory Hours if you don’t want to buy a trampoline. You can also look for local places nearby that offer autism-friendly activities to see if they offer trampoline sessions.)  

Trampolines, depending on the type and brand you buy, can range from $50 to $4,000 or more.  

Mini trampolines, also called rebounders or indoor trampolines, tend to be less expensive than backyard trampolines.   

However, they will not have as much room or versatility.   

Here is an example of an indoor trampoline for kids:  

A young child on a blue indoor trampoline.

 

Photo courtesy of Walmart.  

Backyard trampolines may cost more (especially the higher-quality models) but will offer more room to jump and can last longer – depending on the brand.   

For example, our Springfree Trampolines come with a 10-year warranty on all parts of the trampoline – meaning they can potentially last up to 10 years without needing part replacements.  

A Springfree Trampoline: 

A Springfree Trampoline in a backyard.

 

However, some less expensive models may only last for 1-3 years before breaking down.  

Not to mention, a trampoline that is degrading could compromise the safety of your jumper(s).  

If the trampoline is inexpensive, there’s usually a reason for its low cost.   

Springfree’s advice: If your child wants a long-term trampoline, it’s better to pay the high upfront cost for a quality model than to cycle through multiple inexpensive trampolines.   

3. Requires Space  

Trampolines will also cost you in terms of space.  

An indoor trampoline won’t take up too much space.  

A backyard trampoline, depending on its size, could take up a large amount of room.    

We also recommend accounting for 3-5 ft of clearance space on backyard trampolines in addition to its listed dimensions.   

A graphic showing a Springfree Trampoline with 5 ft of clearance space.

MAKE SURE your trampoline fits your yard safely before purchasing.  

4. Individual Variability   

The last con to trampoline therapy for ASD is it’s not guaranteed to work for every individual.   

Everybody is unique.   

For some, trampoline therapy can be life changing. For others, it might produce no results.   

It’s best to assess your child’s health profile and talk to your healthcare provider before starting a trampoline therapy program.  

The Best Trampolines for ASD (2024)  

If you’ve decided that trampoline therapy is right for you, it’s time to figure out which trampoline to choose. 

We have compiled a detailed list of the best trampolines for individuals on the Autism Spectrum.  

In the List, you will find options for children (ages 3+) and adults. It’s based on thorough and objective research.   

We included both indoor and outdoor trampolines, all proven to be autism-friendly options.  

Check out the List: 5 Best Trampolines for Children on the Autism Spectrum 

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