Swimming lessons for kids with Autism can help reduce the risk of accidental drowning—and bring more joy, confidence, and coordination into their lives. Swimming lessons can also improve their learning in other areas, strengthen their bodies, and reduce anxiety, through swimming lessons.
What is Autism?
What Does Swimming Have to Do With Autism?
John O’Connor, an associate professor of adapted physical education at Montana State University studies how swimming and physical activity in general, can help alleviate the everyday struggle of those living with autism.
“People with autism experience levels of sensory perception that most of us wouldn’t know or understand,” Dr. O’Connor said. “It overloads them, so they engage in behaviors that distract them. Exercise gives them the same benefits but it doesn’t have the negative social connotations.”
This is because swimming requires repetitive movement, which autistic children find comforting as it’s one of the primary symptoms.
Swimming Benefits for Autistic Children
- Drowning prevention: Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death for children and adults with autism. Learning how to swim is an especially important skill for an autistic child to learn! This is because they are naturally drawn to the water. Their affinity to water tends to stem from their need or desire for isolation. Thereby fleeing to unfamiliar territory, in many cases this could be the backyard where a pool may not be gated.
- Therapy: According to the International Journal of Sport Psychology, swimming can improve an autistic child’s speech and cognitive function. This is because the water provides a soothing escape from any overwhelming noises. Consequently, swimming become a relaxing activity for the child can look forward to!
- Social interaction: An afternoon in the pool for a private swim lesson with an AquaMobile instructor will give your child a comfortable social experience. Autistic children suffer from low self-esteem and it has much to do with their lack of social skills. Focusing on simple tasks such as holding their breath or learning the backstroke enables them to set their worries aside. Other activities such ball sports require too many elements of focus.
Autism is measured on a spectrum, which identifies the severity of the condition in the child. For example, some children are able to speak with little impairment, while others may only be able to communicate a few words. As a parent, it is important to address your concerns with the instructor. Talking to the instructor ahead of the lesson will ensure they are equipped to nurture the child’s abilities.
If you feel your child will benefit from an afternoon of fun and learning in the pool? Then be sure to check out our private swimming lessons for children with AquaMobile!