Thursday, June 30, 2011

Inflatable Playground Accommodates Autistic Kids Nationwide

CHICAGO -- The nation's largest indoor inflatable playground, Pump It Up recently started making accommodations for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

More than 150 Pump It Up playgrounds across the country are giving children with autism sensory jump time. It's an opportunity for them to be in a safe environment while having a lot of fun.

At Chicago's Lincoln Park Pump It Up, 5-year-old Ivan is making his way around the inflatable playground. Mom Martha Fregoso said her son was diagnosed with autism just after his second birthday.

"A couple of things that we've noticed was just his development, he wasn't speaking very well for his age. He had a lot of sensory issues so we had a lot of issues with adjusting with the environment sounds," Fregoso said.

This is challenging for young kids like Ivan, to do simple things like play with peers.

"He's ultra sensitive to sounds, so if the radio is too loud, he can't tolerate it. He says it hurts. Fire alarms, fire trucks, any sudden, spontaneous sounds that he's not anticipating really affect him," Fregoso said.

The Sensory Jump Time program has games and activities catered to the specific needs of children with autism. It's a partnership between Pump It Up and Autism Speaks.

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