Teaching an autistic child to swim can be a very tricky task. However, through consistency, patience, and a qualified swimming instruction, swimming can be used as a form of aquatic therapy. Making sure you always have properly trained instructors is key, especially for children who are autistic. According to the National Autism Association, between 2009 and 2011, 91% of the drowning incidents in the US involved children with autism. Water safety is always important for any child but extra supervision is required if your child has autism. Just like everyone else, it is important to ensure your child’s safety by providing them with swimming lessons. There are six steps every parent should take for autism swimming therapy, read below to find out what they are!
Good Routine and Consistency
Although it is good at times to change up the swimming routine, it’s most of the time better to keep up a consistent routine for the student. A consistent routine and teaching method is essential for the student’s confidence to ensure that they always feel comfortable. Creating a familiar swimming lesson routine for an autistic student is perfect for autism swimming therapy. Swim instructors can makes sure to keep consistency by providing the same toys, learning aids, or tasks throughout the lesson.
Free Swim Time!
Making sure that the student has enough time to feel comfortable in the water without constant assistance from the instructor is important. But don’t forget that water supervision is always necessary when a child is swimming in the water. Something like just getting in the water and letting them maneuver around while guiding them and spotting them is perfect.
Using toys, flutter boards and floaties are all ways to make the student more engaged. The visual aids will allow the student to be more independent without always relying heavily on the instructor. Also, visual aids are great for teaching children with special needs because it’s the easiest way for them to understand.
Private Swim Lessons
Autism private swimming lessons are the best solutions. The one-on-one relationship that the student will develop with their teacher is so important for the learning process. Making sure that the student has the proper attention and supervision will definitely speed up the process! Here at Aquamobile, teachers are always committed to ensuring the safety of a student while allowing them to improve their techniques. Even having a lifeguard present for any type of pool party will do the trick.
Always Encourage the Student
All the other swimming therapy techniques for students with special needs are important but this one is by far the easiest to do. Make sure that you are always encouraging the student and recognizing any sort of improvement and rewarding them for it. Things such as high fives and clapping are guaranteed to go a much longer way than you think.
Wondering what your first swim lesson will look like with a child with ASD? Check out our article here.