Twirling Whirling Cocoons

We have paid for years of occupational therapy.  Fine motor therapy, visual integration therapy, handwriting therapy, sensory integration therapy…..pretty much all of it.  Finally we no longer “needed” OT but continued to go since the sensory activities really helped.   Our little brick could spin for hours and never get dizzy.  He did not get nystagmus either.  We would enter OT and he would tell the OT what he wanted to do (read as what his body needed) and off they would go.  Having been to so much OT with my son and working with so many OTs in early intervention, I decided to try a home program and forego formal OT.

When the kids were little we had an indoor swing that mounted in a doorway.  It came with a toddler swing and trapeze.  We also used a “sky swing” we had gotten at a craft show.  When the boys out grew it, we gave it away.

A couple years ago we got another indoor swing.  Daddy brick found a secure stud in the ceiling, in the middle of the playroom and in went the eye bolt.  We started with the IKEA Ekorre swing (http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/S19809351/).  We didn’t hang it per the directions (one of the many perks to having a construction savvy hubby) but used a swivel hook from Southpaw Enterprises (http://southpawenterprises.com/SuspensionHardware/SafetyRotationalDevice.asp).  It was, and still is, a huge hit. 

I also learned that he liked the deep pressure from the cocoon swing the OT had.  I could not pay (financially or on principle) what the therapy companies wanted for the swing.  So, having a mom who is very sewing savvy, we made one.  I measured the one the OT had and went to Joanne’s Fabric and used a 50% off coupon and bought some heavy Lycra—like for girls swim suits.  We sewed it into a tube and hung it from a carabineer from the swivel hook.  As our little brick grew we had to knot the swing so his bum doesn’t drag the ground. 

He will ask to hang the swings and use them.  Sometimes he wants to go back and forth, sometimes he wants to spin gently, and sometimes he wants to spin very fast.  We made another cocoon and sewed it closed except for a small opening that he climbs into.  It’s like a sleeping bag that doesn’t zip open and has a smaller opening.  He can push and stretch against the fabric and it gives him feedback that he needs. 

It seems odd that, over the years, he has learned what his body needs to organize.  But, I guess we all do.  We know when we need quiet, or dark, or pressure (like climbing under a heavy blanket), or if we need to move and stretch.  So we continue to spin and swing away.  I just wish the swings were big enough for me.

 

The pictures are blurry because the little brick was spinning and swinging and moving, but you get the idea.  The top two are the cocoon swing and the last one is the Ikea swing.

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3 responses to “Twirling Whirling Cocoons

  1. I know this post is old, so I’m not sure if you will see this. Could you please explain a little more how you hung the IKEA Ekorre swing from the rotational device? This is how I want to install mine (from a “single point”/eye hook with rotational device) but I can’t figure out if I can use the rope that came with the swing, or if I will have to use something else. Thank you!

    • We hung an eye bolt in a rafter of our ceiling and hooked the swivel to that. Then we used a large carabiner on the looped ropes from the swing to the swivel. We assembled the swing except didn’t use the red connector pieces. We just tied the rope into a loop. Be careful how you do this as it is not the recommended way to assemble the swing and if you do not secure a rafter and/or tie the knot incorrectly you may fall.

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