There is no doubt that physical exercise is important for all of us and increasingly people with disabilities are embracing sports and activities because of the significant benefits it brings to their health and general well-being.
Surrey Choices provides a range of activities for the people it supports but it cites Rebound Therapy as one of its most popular activities. It introduced the therapy sessions in September 2015 and it has proved to be extremely beneficial to customers. The exercise helps to promote balance, facilitate movement, increase or decrease muscle tone and aids relaxation and sensory integration.
The founder Eddy Anderson coined ‘Rebound Therapy’ in 1969 and the term describes the use of a trampoline in order to provide the therapeutic exercise and recreation for people with a wide range of special needs. It is not trampolining in the traditional gymnastic sense but it does improve fitness and can really help to improve communication skills.
Activity facilitator Paul Dawson, from Surrey Choices, said Rebound Therapy is an “immensely popular” activity enjoyed by many of the people he supports. He currently works with people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, sensory impairment, people with complex needs and people on the autistic spectrum.
“It is basically using trampolines as an exercise therapy,” said Paul. “The different benefits it can offer are quite incredible, including communication, muscle tone and co-ordination. Most importantly of all it is fun and enjoyable for people of all abilities. Everyone taking part enjoys the happy and positive atmosphere that comes with Rebound. We see it having a positive impact on so many lives.
“Sometimes we have customers come along to Rebound who don’t use verbal communication but due to the cardio-respiratory effects of the activity vocalisation is often increased with exclamations and gasps. Eye contact is also enhanced and this can be especially lovely for parents and carers to see these positive effects.”
Rachel Risbridger, whose son attends three Rebound Therapy sessions a week said her son absolutely loves attending the sessions and she confirms that it helps his physical, mental and social skills.
“The exercise is really good for him, and it’s helped him to improve in following commands, as well as becoming more interactive, and he will now have short conversations with Paul when he uses the trampoline,” she said.
Paul Dawson and his colleagues at Surrey Choices is delighted that Rebound Therapy is having such a positive impact on so many lives. Later this year those attending the sessions will be invited to a presentation ceremony to celebrate their achievements.