Born to bounce!
We spent a really fun, sunny afternoon with Theo, mum Laura and the Rebound Therapy Organisation watching Theo having a great fun session of rebound therapy on the Capital In-ground Trampoline.
Theo has Cerebral Palsy, and as such, has challenges with coordination, muscle tone and core strength. Unlike many children with Cerebral Palsy Theo can sit up on his own and although he would ordinarily use his wheelchair to travel around larger distances, he is able to move around on his knees in the garden and at home.
This meant that because the Capital In-ground Trampoline is completely flush to the ground, Theo can access the trampoline all by himself, which he would not be able to do with an above ground trampoline. Mum Laura admits that, at the age of 7 Theo has started to get rather heavy for her to lift and so this is a benefit that not only Theo enjoys but Laura too!
Laura explained that physiotherapy is offered by the NHS up until school age but then the funding for this tends to fade away, this is why she took the initiative to sign Theo up for a Rebound Therapy programme, tailored to his needs and requirements by Paul Kaye at The Rebound Therapy.org
It was very obvious to anyone watching that Theo clearly sees his Rebound Therapy sessions as great fun, which meant the sessions didn’t fall into the category of “boring physio exercises” and kept him completely engaged regardless of which exercise he was doing.
Rebound Therapy session on in-ground trampoline at home from Capital Play on Vimeo.
The rebound therapy session we attended consisted of a range of exercises and games all designed to help with coordination, building muscle tone, core strength, brain training and reflex reactions. All of these exercises have been designed to be performed on a trampoline, taking advantage of all the physical and sensory benefits a trampoline can offer.
Some exercises involved Theo on the trampoline with one of the instructors and then some also involved Theo’s mum Laura, who was able to help support Theo for some of the exercises and join in with the fun!
There was a seamless blend of exercise-activities and then pure, sensory fun activities such as Theo being whizzed around the trampoline jump mat on a colourful parachute, which resulted in infectious giggles started by an ecstatic Theo.
As well as having great fun with the parachute, The Rebound Therapy.org also used various exercise props including an air-filled “peanut” exercise ball. Theo could sit on this and use it to help support his body whilst he pushed up from his feet into the jump mat to help strengthen his legs and increase coordination, all the while being supported by one of the therapists.
Other moves required Theo to stay as rigid as possible whilst one of the Therapists gently bounced the jump mat, again encouraging control over limbs and building muscle strength.
Exercises such as this take great concentration from the participant but because they are so fun and involve the wonderful sensation of bouncing, they are far more likely to commit themselves than if it was a standard physiotherapy session, this is particularly true for children.
Cerebral Palsy is just one of the many disabilities that in-ground trampolines can be of huge benefit and enjoyment. Capital Play/Playgrade Trampolines install a large number of in-ground trampolines to schools and domestic homes for children and adults with Autism, special needs and heightened sensory needs. Many of these carers and parents tell us how important their in-ground trampoline is to them above all other play or exercise equipment.
Theo is clearly a bit of a thrill seeker, impatient to get back on the trampoline when Mum Laura was having a turn and enjoying being swooped around the in-ground trampoline on a piece on parachute material, or seeing how high he can bounce – it’s no wonder his favourite TV programme is Total Wipeout!
Thank you Theo, Laura and the ReboundTherapy.org for letting us join in on the fun!