January 22, 2020 | In: Autism Resources , Why We Rock
A common misconception is that there is an age limit for sensory gyms. In actuality, sensory gyms—and play—are important for people of all ages. They are especially beneficial for teens and adults with sensory disorders. You are never too old to engage in sensory development and play!
Take our original Rockboy, Gabriel Kimmel, for example (seen in the above picture). He is the son of CEO and Founder, Dina Kimmel, and was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2. Gabriel will be turning 13 this year, and he still not only benefits from but also enjoys all of the thrills and amenities that the We Rock gym has to offer! Everything that he needs to fulfill his sensory diet can be found at our gyms around the world.
What is sensory play?
To recap, sensory play is any activity that engages any of the seven senses: sight, smell, touch, hearing, taste, vestibular, and proprioception. It is extremely beneficial to children with special needs because it develops their senses through a fun activity. Cognitive, motor and social skills are a few areas that benefit greatly. Essentially, sensory play is about learning in a fun way.
Although sensory play is generally seen as an activity for toddlers and young children, we see many teens and young adults with sensory disorders come through our doors. They can still reap the benefits of sensory play and improve their senses and skills. Here are a few benefits of engaging in sensory play for teens and adults.
Benefits of Sensory Play for Teens and Adults
1. Provides holistic development
With sensory play, teens and adults with special needs have opportunities to further improve their senses and cognitive, motor, and social skills. Teens and adults will be able to learn while in a fun, non-threatening environment. For example, while jumping on our trampoline with others, they will exercise their vestibular and proprioceptive senses while engaging in social interactions.Climbing our rock wall will fine-tune their gross motor skills and, through motor planning and strategy, enhance their cognitive skills.
2. Amplifies therapy
Sensory play amplifies and improves the effectiveness of therapy. Often times, teens and adults with special needs are enrolled in occupational or speech therapy. Combining therapy sessions with sensory play can ease social stress and increase their tolerance to new stimuli. At We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym, we offer therapy sessions that utilize the sensory equipment at our gyms to help our older We Rockers process sensory inputs better and cultivate appropriate responses to provocations.
3. Having fun
Last but not least, sensory play is fun! Participating in fun activities while learning how to further socialize and strategize can improve the developmental progress in teens and adults. By going to a sensory gym like We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym, they will have a safe space where they can explore and process new stimuli in an exciting way. They can ride the zip line and experience proprioception, or they can jump into the crash pit and feel deep pressure stimulation. Being in an open space like our gym can be freeing for teens and adults, resulting in a healthier and more receptive mental state.
Sensory play is for everyone of all ages. No matter how old, anyone with special needs can benefit from sensory play. From cognitive skills to sensory processing, sensory gyms, like We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym, help people of all abilities grow at their own pace. It also introduces them to a new social environment where they can meet others their age with similar experiences. Head over to your local We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym to experience the importance of sensory gyms.