Kids with autism and other spectrum-diagnoses benefit from fun activity out in the yard. And in our Mission: Backyard Adventure, I want to share with you all of the information I researched about why kids with autism benefit from trampolines, and which trampolines would be most suitable.
In my view, the best trampolines for autism include the 12ft round Zupapa trampoline for outdoors, and the smaller 4ft round FirstE trampoline with handrail for indoors. You’ll want very good safety features, especially whilst core strength and general motor control is being developed. But you also want a trampoline that is really fun.
Let’s go through the ins and outs of selecting the best trampoline for autism and other spectrum-diagnoses below.
Why Do Kids With Autism And Other Spectrum Diagnoses Benefit From Trampolines?
Kids with autism and other spectrum-disorders need safe ways to develop their fitness.
Not all of autistic kids are suited for team sports. You don’t want to send them out for a three-mile run on their own. And you don’t want every physical activity to be at the physiotherapist’s or rehab clinic. There’s only so much family bootcamp you can run in the rumpus room without feeling like a drillmaster.
Because they are less likely to do team sports, and you often don’t want them roaming the neighborhood, this means that they generally have lower physical activity. When combined with a reduced number of interests and activities, and some who have motor development challenges, your child is generally less fit that you’d like them to be.
If you can find a physical activity that they like, and ideally, do somewhat by themselves, it will help them with general fitness and specific core balance skills.
Why are trampolines good for kids with autism?
To bounce on the trampoline demands a certain amount of attention. You have to concentrate on how you will jump, where you will land, and where you place your feet (or bottom!). And, the sensation of jumping just feels really good.
The science backs this up. Back in 2015, a group of Portuguese researchers reported that trampolining twice a week helped kids with autism and other spectrum disorders to improve lower limb strength, overall balance, agility and fine motor co-ordination.
A trampoline is ideal for helping develop lower body muscle tone, balance and co-ordination. If your autistic kid has lower fitness levels, this will be a great, fun way of building the fitness up.
Further, the bouncing motion seems rhythmically soothing, and can restore a sense of peace. This makes it ideal for time-outs, whether at home, in the yard or even in the classroom environment.
And finally, because your child is fully occupied, you might even get a few minutes (or half an hour) respite to do other things, or even just have a break.
Top 5 Best Trampolines for autism and other spectrum-diagnosis
|Class||Recommendation||Check Out The Price Now!|
|Best mini trampoline with handrail||FirstE Mini 48″ Trampoline||Check out FirstE Mini Trampoline on Amazon!|
|Best mini trampoline for two kids (or a kid and grownup)||Ancheer Oval Mini Trampoline||Check out Ancheer Oval Mini Trampoline on Amazon!|
|Best & Safest Trampoline||Springfree Oval 8’ x 13’||Check out Springfree Oval Trampoline on Amazon!|
|Best Value Outdoor Trampoline under $700||Zupapa 12ft Round Trampoline||Check out Zupapa 12ft Trampoline on Amazon!|
|Best In-ground Trampoline||Berg Champion 14ft In-Ground Trampoline||Check out Berg Champion In-Ground Trampoline on Amazon!|
Best mini trampoline with handrail:
I love this large mini trampoline. It’s great for younger kids, or even older kids who would prefer to hold a handrail whilst bouncing.
You can put it outdoors on the patio, or inside in the lounge or garage. And the handrail is foldable, you can pack it up and take it on vacation with you. Whilst you can use it outdoors, I wouldn’t leave it outside in bad weather or over the winter.
It weighs about 6.4 lbs, and sits almost 11” off the floor. The width of this round mini trampoline is 48”, and the mat is 38”. It also has an astonishing weight capacity of 440lbs.
It is also one of the few mini trampolines that doesn’t need tools to assemble, and can be taken down again, folding into a quarter of its size.
Just to note, as with all ‘folding’ trampolines, it’s relatively quick for when you’re going on vacation, but you probably wouldn’t do it every day. You’ll definitely want to have a spot to leave it assembled at home.
Best mini trampoline for two kids (or a kid and grownup):
is mini trampoline oval shaped with a handrail. This is great if you have two kids, even if they are different ages. The handrail stops them from bouncing into each other.
The handrail is also height adjustable, and you’ll want it low enough to ensure little kids don’t bump their heads on it! For a mini-trampoline, it has a really nice bounce. And it’s not over-loaded with super stimulatory colors – just a nice clean red or blue.
This mini trampoline oval shaped with a handrail. This is great if you have two kids, even if they are different ages.
The handrail stops them from bouncing into each other. The handrail is also height adjustable, and you’ll want it low enough to ensure little kids don’t bump their heads on it! For a mini-trampoline, it has a really nice bounce. And it’s not over-loaded with super stimulatory colors – just a nice clean red or blue.
It’s actually really nice to have your child on one side, and then have you on the other side jumping. If your kid is anything like mine, you’ll both laugh your heads off!
The trampoline arrives with the mat already attached to the frame, folded in thirds. You unfold the mat, then attach the legs and handrail. It can be done by one person, but might be a bit easier with two. Again, it’s foldable when you want to put it away for a season or take it travelling. But you wouldn’t want to be doing this on a daily basis.
I should note that the instructions are not clear – poorly written and low-resolution images. However, there are videos on the internet which are much easier to follow.
This trampoline has a weight limit of 220 lbs. The trampoline is 56” by 36”, with the mat being 48” by 28”. The difference is the springs and frame. The adjustable height bar is 38”-45”. When it arrives, the box is 40.2” by 24.2” by 4.3”.
Best & Safest Trampoline:
I’ve written about Springfree before, and it’s still all true. They have made a much safer trampoline than a traditional trampoline, with great bounce, and a price tag to match!
The springs have been replaced by composite rods, which mean that there is no way for hair, fingers or toes to get caught in the springs.
And the safety enclosure supports curve out so that you (or your child) can’t crash bounce into them, even accidentally on purpose.
This model is oval-shaped which gives two bounce zones. This means that two people can safely bounce without crashing into each other (as they might on a round trampoline). It even comes with a hoop, which you can optionally install.
If you have the room for it in your yard, and your budget can stretch to it, then the Springfree Oval 8’ x 13’ trampoline will give years of safe fun.
Best value outdoor trampoline for under $700:
Truly, this trampoline is our go-to recommendation for a good round trampoline. Takes around 2 hours to set up, and with the UV mat protection, and the stability of the frame, it can take a beating from the environment.
Even if your kid has some unconventional behavior, this trampoline will take it on the chin.
This budget friendly trampoline has several compelling safety features, and still has great performance.
The springs are on the outside of the net, so no hair, fingers or toes getting caught. Thick foam around the steel poles reduces the risk of injury in case of accidental banging. It comes with a non-slip ladder as standard, which will be important in the rain or if the sprinkler turns on
A higher weight capacity at 425lbs means that even mom or dad can jump together their kid (or two little kids)
PLUS an extra 12 springs means that the bounce is even bouncier!
Best outdoor in-ground trampoline:
The Berg Inground Champion Trampoline (14’) is designed by a Dutch company.
It is a top-of-the-range product, but you need it for an inground trampoline. The moisture from the earth creates challenging conditions for a trampoline. The steel is good, and the mat has excellent airflow.
Being close to the ground means that there is very little distance to climb up, which means it is super safe for toddlers or those on the spectrum with lower physical capabilities. I’d still use the enclosure net, as you don’t want to bounce off the trampoline onto the surrounding grass at any height.
It has a really sweet deep bounce. This is due, in part, to the mat’s high airflow. This is important for an inground trampoline, as every bounce pushes air out from underneath the mat. As the walls are enclosed by the earth or retaining wall, the air needs to leave through the mat. Equally, every time the jumper is high in the air, the mat returns to being flat, causing air to return under the mat. With the increased airflow through the mat, this air exchange is able to happen quickly and efficiently.
Secondly, the springs are arranged as twin springs (Berg calls them TwinSpring Gold). This gives the trampoline an even better soft deep bounce.
I really hope this article has helped give you some guidance about the trampolines that I recommend for kids with autism or on the spectrum. Not only will it help with your child’s physical development, it is likely to give you some respite as they enjoy the bouncing.
Go Forth, Kids!