Every time we go to the park near my house, my son wants to spin on the tire swing. I get dizzy just watching him but he says that he loves it. My friends said that he’s a “sensory kid.” What does that mean? Is it ok for him to spin that much?
It’s actually a very normal part of development for children enjoy spinning! Ironically, it helps them actually develop better balance and body awareness through their vestibular system.
Some children who want to spin all the time and can’t stop when told to might desire an excessive amount of sensory input. In those cases it can helpful to seek guidance of a peds OT.
In terms of your dizziness…I agree-I’ve been there! But actually, we as adults are more sensitive to motion based on physiological changes that happen with age so our tolerance for movement and spinning is far lower than our children’s.
Good morning! Yes, a child’s vestibular system “needs” vestibular input in a variety of ways—linear (back and forth motion), circular (spinning) and rotary (linear combined with circular). As adults, we engage our system less in these directions and are more sensitive to those movement patterns as we age (not everyone, but many of us). If your son spins and doesn’t get sick, and he tells you he likes it, he’s meeting a need he has (to get some intense vestibular input). Other ways to get vestibular input would be—cartwheels, bike riding, handstands, jumping on a trampoline, tumbling/somersaults, skating, skateboarding, sliding, and swinging back and forth. If your son ONLY spins (whether on the swing or when standing) to the exclusion of other play activities, that could be cause for concern.
Thank you both for your answers! He does love to spin and spin, but he does play on the other pieces of equipment and does play with his brother. So I guess from what you both are saying is that it is normal. Thank goodness! I thought something was wrong because I looked at him and felt nauseous And now that you pointed it out, he is a very coordinated kid! He loves sports and is quite good! I guess all of that spinning is really helping out his balance and body awareness.