Research from Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders by Michelle Sowa has demonstrated that physical exercise has beneficial effects on people with autism. As well as releasing all the right endorphins and chemicals in the brain, it can improve motor coordination and fundamental movement skills. Trampolining can provide all of this, along with the euphoric feeling of freedom gained by bouncing through the air.
According to Autism Speaks, “The trampoline is one of the pieces of equipment that a therapist will use to help improve how the brain processes and organises incoming information through physical movement.”
At Jump Inc we recognised that there was a shortage of autism-friendly physical activity-based sessions. We want to make everyone feel welcome at our parks and give all abilities the opportunity to have a go at the new craze that is trampoline parks. That’s why we started Jump Stars. We shut off the park to the rest of the public for an hour, turn the music down and the lights up. We also invite parents, siblings and other family members of children with disabilities to come and enjoy the park when it’s not as busy as peak times. This means that everyone can reap the benefits of trampolining and meet new friends without any added pressure.
Trampolining is a form of low impact “play” exercise, it exercises the whole body and can improve balance, muscle tone and flexibility. The healthguidance.org website says “The repetitive stimulation of bouncing into a rebounding surface helps teach the body over a period of time how to read those impulses it has not been able to interpret.”
EPIC Leeds gave us a few kind words about how we began our partnership with them:
“We were approached at EPIC Leeds because we run the local Parent/Carer Forum in Leeds for families with disabled children and young people with additional needs 0-25.
“Jump Inc already had a well-established relationship with the Rotherham Parent/Carer Forum running a successful Jump Stars program in the town and were looking to replicate this offer when they opened their new branch in Leeds.
“The partnership was an instant success here in Leeds and families jumped at the chance to have a fully inclusive session in the largest trampoline park in Leeds.
“The result was better than we could have imagined. The session is quiet, with no music on, there are no special light effects and there is lots of space so it’s not a crowded environment which gives young people an opportunity to jump in comfort and safety.
“Here at EPIC Leeds we have found whole families are engaging with us and enjoying an activity together in a safe controlled environment.
“I would recommend Jump Inc to all families because they are very keen to engage and will recommend times that are quieter and easier to access if needed outside of the Jump Stars sessions. Jump Inc are leading the way on true disability inclusion.”
If you would like to join in the fun of trampolining, but are worried that your child or sibling will be nervous in a busy session why not try Jump Stars.