Have you ever enjoyed an activity so much that you lost track of time? Have you ever wondered how much time you dedicated to that favorite activity? One of those activities for our autistic son is his cocoon swing. Countless hours have been dedicated to pushing our son with autism back and forth in his swing (see A Tale of Two Swings for more information on why a hook for a cocoon swing and a platform swing was installed in our loft ceiling). It is one occupational therapy activity that we are grateful to be able to do at home.
Although we don’t use the swing near as much as we once did, it is still a favorite activity of our son. Many days begin with a good 15 to 20 minute ride in the cocoon swing. That is often the first of many swing rides throughout the day.
3 Ways Autistic Son Uses the Cocoon Swing
Our autistic son has become quite the cocoon swing rider. He has found several different ways to ride. One manner in which he gets a swing ride is to lie on his stomach and push his face into the elastic material of the cocoon swing. This appears to be quite comfortable for our son. It is quite interesting to watch from the outside. In many ways this looks like he is a member of the Blue Man Group with his face pressed up against the blue elastic material.
Another way he rides in the cocoon swing is by only sticking his face out of the swing. This creates a Thomas the Tank-like effect. He keeps the elastic portion of the cocoon swing over all of his body except the bulk of his face. With only his head sticking out he looks a lot like the faces of the Thomas the Tank characters on the front of the different train engines. This is also quite a spectacle to behold.
A third way our son rides in the cocoon swing is by curling up on his side. With only his head sticking out he is able to check out his surroundings, including what his younger is doing. He looks quite relaxed this way as well.
Regardless of how he uses the cocoon swing it is still a great way to help calm him down. A good 20 minute ride in the swing is generally enough to decrease most sensory-seeking behaviors. If he becomes unregulated during the day we often make a visit to the swing. Although not as good as an occupational therapy appointment, a good ride in the cocoon swing goes a long way to help calm our son with autism.
Many days several hours are spent being pushed back and forth in the cocoon swing. Whether our autistic son is doing his Blue Man impersonation or his Thomas the Tank impression he is still able to relax. That swing has been a life saver in our house. We definitely owe our autistic son’s occupational therapist a huge thank you for lending us the cocoon swing!