Punch bags for sensory release. Good idea?

Our son is seven/non-verbal and generally doesn't have too many behaviour issues but recently his been getting more sensory seeking. We've been doing sensory circuits, brushing, joint compressions, etc. during the day but at bedtime it isn't enough and he goes into an sensory seeking overload and is hitting/kicking basically until he runs out of puff and has got it out of his system. Then he just gets back into bed, settles down and goes to sleep.

We were thinking of buying a punch bag for him to get it out of his system instead of directed at us. Has anyone had any success with this and if so can you recommend a good bit of kit? 

Thanks in advance, Neal

  • As an ASD adult I do find a session on a punch bag in my works gym (though I only ever go in when its empty) to be very therapeutic. However I would not be sure with my ASD son, as I think it may encourage punching as a good way of dealing with things. I don't know if this bears out in real life, and would be interested in hearing others opinions, but I know we have had problems with him hitting people already, and would not want to potentially sanction this type of action. Its a good question!

  • With being non-verbal can you manage his behaviour so the punch bag is only used with gloves, with an adult present and it's the only thing to hit in the house. If you can go with this AND seriously consider finding a boxing gym he could start learning with...

  • Hey Neal,

    I see this is a few months old, but hope I can help. I am an adult with ASD, and I find all kinds of fitness activities useful for helping me manage my emotions. When I was in school, I did not want to take part in PE lessons as I had very high social anxiety, and even as an adult I don't like to go to the gym.

    However, I set up a gym in my garage, and have a punch bag in there, too. I find it helps a lot, but not sure how appropriate it would be for younger ones? Supervision would be essential I would say.

    Regarding a good bit of kit, I have set up a price comparison site for fitness equipment. My ASD obsession is fitness and music. I have tried to add as much info as possible about the products we have on there - including embedded videos where available to help make decisions, and have produced a guide on what to look for when buying boxing gloves - a necessity if using a bag to ensure hands are safe.

    Check out some punch bags here.

    I hope you find this useful in some way.


  • I had a very similar problem with my little boy when he was around 2 years old. He is 4 and copes better with his outbursts now. Both me and my wife believe the punch bag helped him tremendously and I would recommend this to anyone in a similar situation.

    There are plenty of good punch bags out there and you don't have to spend a fortune. We chosse to get a free standing punching bag as you don't need to hang it from anywhere and they are also quite portable.

  • Another adult here who finds that punch bags are good for sensory release. Apart from anything else it allows me to release all my frustrations and I find that if I build it in to my weekly routines it is just another thing that I have to do.

    I do have a gym membership but I mainly use a punch bag at home as it means I have no excuse if my schedule changes. I prefer to use it in the evening, between 6pm and 7pm before I eat. It makes me feel much calmer and allows the frustrations that have built up during the day eek away. I am pretty sure this would work for children just as much as adults so long as they are supervised. I found this to be a really good resource on free standing punching bags. Hope that helps a little.

  • Worst case scenario they get really good a throwing a punch lol.