For our son, there is one particular activity that is sure to bring a smile to his face:

Trampolining.

He loves everything about it – the motion, the rhythm, the squeak of the springs, the sensation of sheer weightlessness...it represents absolute sensory satisfaction and equates to sheer bliss.

It’s funny to think that we almost missed out on having a trampoline. We'd added it as a second-choice item on a Family Fund request two years ago. Fortunately for us, the request was granted and we realised what a good decision it was. From day one, our son was completely enchanted by his new trampoline and has since spent many, many hours bouncing on it.

Our son has autism and ADHD, so his trampoline meets his needs in so many ways. It provides a safe outlet for his boundless energy and gives a large amount of positive sensory feedback every time he uses it. As we home-educate, the trampoline has been a great motivator and a perfect method of relaxing in between lessons – the perfect recovery-tool after a challenging maths lesson or mammoth essay-writing session.

The trampoline has also had social benefits too. It has helped him to draw closer to his siblings and proved to be the perfect ice-breaker when people come to visit.

Weather is no obstacle when it comes to playing on the trampoline. So dedicated is he to his hobby that it’s not unusual to see him bouncing away in his pyjamas in the rain, after all, the water just provides an additional sensory element to enjoy. On sunny days, the trampoline doubles up as a sun lounger where he can often be found chilling out with his beloved cat Yoshi, who loves the trampoline as much as he does!

We've also been able to take the hobby outside the home by visiting some of the amazing trampoline parks that have been popping up all over the country. Again, the advantage of home-schooling is that we can visit at quieter times when he virtually has the place to himself, although our local centre does kindly offer autism-only sessions too.

So, an afterthought when filling in a Family Fund request form turned into a major hobby and source of joy for our son. May he have many more fun-filled bouncy days ahead of him.