Apraxia Monday: Bounce Your Way to Words

Standard

By Leslie Lindsay

Trampoline Mats
 
 
This past weekend we took our daughters to an indoor giant trampoline facility.  Aside from the fact that this was good, wholesome family fun–and exercise–it dawned on me just how powerful jumping is for the speech-language centers of our brain.  Call it vestibular stimulation or gross motor work, or whatever but it does something to jump-start (okay, couldn’t resist), our speech and language. 

Although we are no longer dealing with CAS in the instensity or severity we once were, I truly did see a change overcome Kate (now 7.9 years and in 2nd grade) as she boinged and bounced around the trampolines.  Her mind was present and engaged; she giggled as though there was no tomorrow, and she initiated a game of “mimic me.”  It went like this, “Okay, mom…I am going to do what you do [on the trampoline].”  And she did.  Not that I was all that innovative (or limber) on the giant stretchy material.  But sure, I did some seat-drops, high-knees, and straddles.  She did them all.  I counted and completed repetitions of exercises…say 10 seat-drops in a row and she watched, repeating what I had done.   

Now how does all of this relate to speech and language, you ask?  Bear with me. 

  • It helps organize thoughts
  • Kate’s  mimic game has a lot to do with turn-taking in coversations.  You speak, I speak.  We both listen (hopefully)…and observe. 
  • It gives kids a *boost* of confidence
  • Little talking is really required to jump on a trampoline.  It just takes a little skill and stability…even so, it’s still a ton of fun, and sure to elicit some smiles and giggles (which is a precursor to speech and language)
  • You can sneak in speech drills with trampolines, too…as you bounce along, quiz your child on words/phrases/sounds he is working on in speech therapy. 
  • Play I’m-gonna-get-you…and run about the trampolines.  When you “catch” each other, say a troublesome word/sound/phrase. 

Our experience wasn’t exactly cheap (about $10/per person) and I wouldn’t advise going to pricey indoor play gyms like this one all the time (or in lieu of speech therapy by a trained and qualifed SLP), but for an out-of-the-house experience, you and your family can have a fun and healthy time while sneaking in a little speech-langauge work.  And please use caution–as you would with any physical activity or sport.  Trampolines, if not used correctly can cause serious injury. 

For more tips & information on ideas like this (those involving gross motor, and the science behind it), please refer to chapter 8 in SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: A Parent’s Guide to CAS (Woodbine House, 2012).

2 responses »

  1. We have an indoor trampoline place nearby and I have yet to try it with my son. I think we’ll make it a point to go now that you’ve mentioned this. Thanks for sharing!

Got something to say? Tell us!!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s