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Swing seats and sensory integration therapy

We've been privileged over the years to provide a number of swing seats and rocking benches for both adults and children with additional needs, who can find the motion of rocking particularly soothing. 

Dear Martin and Siobhan,

“I wanted to write and thank you for all your help and advice in ordering a Rockabye for my disabled son’s 21st Birthday. Daniel has profound learning disabilities with autism. He has sensory integration difficulties which means swinging is very calming for him. He wouldn’t be able to get on and off a normal swing so having a bench to sit back and relax in will be of great benefit to him throughout his life.

Your advice, Martin, on shape really helped as we decided the Tranquillity Slat-Back would suit him best. The shape would encourage him to sit back and at the same time the head and lumbar area would be supported. I am thrilled with the shape and the carving of DANIEL 21YRS 15/02/2012 made it extra special. Especially as you were able to deliver it that day – his birthday.“

- Joanne King

The Vestibular System

Swinging, jumping, spinning and rocking are important to children not only for fun and exercise but also to help their bodies organize and to regulate their sensory systems. Vestibular input is one of the core elements of sensory integration therapy, and it doesn't just help children, but also adults with additional needs. Our body's vestibular system is the sensory system that provides the primary input about movement, balance, spatial awareness and positioning. It helps us prepare our posture, maintain our balance, properly use our vision, calm ourselves and regulate our behaviour.

The amount of vestibular input varies from person-to-person. Some crave movement, while others may be motion sensitive. It is important that a person's sensory needs be monitored to determine what is right for them. Some may start to "stim" (Stimming means carrying out a repetitive body movement, such as hand flapping) after a point and can become overwhelmed, offsetting any calming effect the swing may have had. Controlled vestibular input under the direction of an occupational or physical therapist is recommended for those with sensory processing issues.

Movement is essential for typical development to occur in all children. Swinging can have a powerful impact on the brain's ability to process and use sensory information and can act as a powerful activator on the body's systems. Swings are often used in this type of therapy. 

Garden swing seat safety

When choosing a swing it is critical to consider safety at all times.

  • Adult supervision is always required for children.
  • Make sure the swings are able to support the user(s).
  • People who are seizure prone may require additional precautions.
  • Make sure the user has the ability to stop on their own at a moment's notice.
  • The user must want to swing on their own. Never force someone to participate.

We are able to supply a robust fixing down system and, if necessary, a restraining feature for our swing seats ,rope swings and Rockabyes and can reassure you of their sturdiness and strength due to the materials and traditional construction methods that we use.

Find out more about our sensory swings for the garden.

Posted by Siobhan on April 20th 2014

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