AACT... Autism, Asperger's Climbing as Therapy  

Why Indoor Rock Climbing is good for children with Additional Needs?

Children on the Autistic spectrum can share many traits such as uneven gross and fine motor skills, over-activity or under-activity. They can have difficulty with communication, social skills and this can be accompanied by repetitive behaviors and restricted interests. Children with autism can also have sensory needs. However if they move while learning, they will actually retain more information. Rock climbing is very tactile, both in holds and in the texture of the walls. The holds are brightly coloured with different shapes so are visually stimulating.

Climbing can help support language as it encourages cross pattern movement. It can help to develop the vestibular system (balance) and proprioception (spatial body awareness). It improves overall muscle tone, fine and gross motor skills and its wonderful the benefits that climbing can have on Interhemispheric integration (communication between the two sides of the brain). Climbing encourages problem-solving; independent thinking and can help improve behaviour through Interhemispheric Integration. Climbers are motivated to communicate by the joy of climbing, bonding with the belayer (the person holding the other end of the rope!). Overall climbing builds confidence in a safe and nurturing environment. Therefore Rock climbing is one-stop therapeutic shop and, is therapy disguised as play!