This is an excerpt from Active Games for Children on the Autism Spectrum by Erin Bennett & Mary Dyck.
Jumping projects a person into the air by force generated in one or both legs. The individual lands on one or both feet. Figure 4.4 shows emerging (a), developing (b), and mature (c) patterns of jumping as jumpers improve their execution of the preparation, force production, critical instant, and recovery phases.
Keys to a developing jump:
- Bend knees
- Swing arms forward and at the same time
- Push off both legs
- Lean forward to take off
Watch for these in the emerging jump:
- Little use of the arms or not together
- Weak push-off or using only one leg
Jumping (Two Feet) Skill Practice
- Sticky mats or beanbags
- Mini trampoline
- Bubble Wrap can be placed on the ground for motivation.
- Bend knees.
- Cue “swing arms.”
- Cue “jump.”
- Instructor may hold the individual under the arms and help lift when cueing “jump.”
- If individual is able to jump independently then place a sticky mat or beanbags or a marking on the floor and have the individual jump up and down in place. This is a vertical jump.
- Emphasize landing by demonstrating straight landing arms, hands out.
- Once that is mastered, you can place another sticky mat or beanbags a few footsteps in front of the other mat and cue the individual to jump to that sticky mat (long jump). One can use a different-colored mat than the one that the individual is standing on to jump to. An example is cue “jump to red.” This is a horizontal jump.
- Mini trampolines are motivating as well.
- Verbal: “Bend your knees,” “swing your arms, back, front,” “jump”
- Visual: Sticky mats for landing
- Instructors can also have individuals jump down from a short step or ledge.
- This may help with momentum.