Help me give my students a therapeutic swing to offer vestibular stimulation in the classroom.
"If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn." ~Ignacio Estrada. This is the exact challenge my students face each day. They learn differently than most students and it is my duty as a teacher to go outside the box and find the ways that they learn best. I teach Pre-K students with severe and profound intellectual disabilities. They are nonverbal and some have vision impairments.
My students may have difficulty walking, seeing, hearing, and/or talking, but despite their disabilities, they challenge me every day to take them to the next level and prove to others that they are far more capable than anyone could ever imagine.
Our entire day revolves around the individual needs of each one of my students. The skills my students work on daily will impact their lives forever. I cannot begin to express how amazing it would be to use items from our projects to assist my students in meeting their goals and learning new skills that they will carry with them throughout life. Every day, we look past the disability and instead, at their abilities and with this in mind, the possibilities are endless.
A therapeutic swing would be such an amazing addition to our classroom. Having a swing would not only offer my students a fun, cozy place to let out some energy but also offer them a great, safe way to receive vestibular stimulation in the classroom. Vestibular stimulation is when your inner ear receives input from any change in head movement or change in body position or direction (e.g. rocking, spinning, and swinging.) Our vestibular system provides the primary input about spatial awareness, balance, movement, and positioning. It helps us maintain our balance, prepare our posture, properly use our vision, regulate our behavior and calm ourselves.
I have added two types of swing to my project and this is because different swinging motions affect our vestibular system differently.
One of the swings on my project is a Hammock Chair swing. This swing provides rhythmic, predictable, linear vestibular input. The gentle back-and-forth motion from this swing can help calm children that are over stimulated, improve balance and improve important motor skills.
The other swing on my project is a Pod Swing (or nest). This swing applies body pressure as it moves which can sooth a child with sensory issues. This swing also spins which provides arrhythmic, unpredictable, rotary vestibular input.
Movement is critical for typical development in all children. All of these movements can act as a powerful activator on the body’s systems. Having a swing in the classroom will help my students’ bodies organize and regulate their sensory systems. It will also encourage balance, sensory integration and motor planning.
I have also added a soft play mat to my project to use under the swing. Placing a mat under the swing will help keep my students safe while using the swing as well as give a safe boundary around the swing.
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|ECR4Kids Softzone Patchwork Toddler Foam Play Mat, 58" Square, Primary • Amazon Business||$98.82||1||$98.82|
|Sorbus Hammock Chair Stand for Hanging Chairs, Swings, Loungers, 330 Pound Capacity, Perfect for Indoor/Outdoor Patio, Deck, Yard (Adjustable Stand) • Amazon Business||$84.99||1||$84.99|
|LA SIESTA Joki Dolfy - Cotton Kids Hanging Nest • Amazon Business||$75.51||1||$75.51|
|Inspired Home Living Large Deluxe BRAZILIAN HAMMOCK CHAIR - Hanging Rope Swing - Hang Indoor Or Outdoor - No Hammock Stand Required • Amazon Business||$33.45||1||$33.45|
|FeiYen Swing Swivel with 2 Carabiners 30KN for Aerial Silks Dance, Spider Web Tree Swing, Hanging Hammock, Children's Pod Swing - Safest Climbing Rotational Device Hanging Spinner 2500 up Lbs • Amazon Business||$29.99||1||$29.99|
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