In recent years, swimming has been included in comprehensive and structured plans for the treatment of autistic children. Swimming has proven to be an excellent treatment for autistic children in all areas of the spectrum because it is such a gentle and non-invasive form of therapy. In addition to this, it teaches autistic children how to swim, how to be safe around water and how to be comfortable in the water.
Increasing Mental and Physical Health
An increase in physical health is an excellent way to improve cognitive function and stimulate mental growth. Many autistic children are not engaged in physical activities, which can lead to exercise time being a challenge. Swimming is one of the best exercises for both strength and cardiovascular health, and when properly engaged an autistic child can improve their health on both fronts. Swim lessons with autistic children can include both mental and physical stimulation as part of a truly comprehensive regimen.
Relaxing and Calming the Child
Many autistic children and adults find swimming extremely calming. The pressure that water offers over the body soothes them. Parents that have autistic children may find that taking a swim class with them can be calming and therapeutic on an emotional level.
Promoting Physical Safety
Autistic children are more likely to wander than other children and are often drawn to water due to its unique benefits to them. Without the proper education and safety, an autistic child has a greater than average chance of potentially drowning. With this in mind, it’s very important for both autistic children and parents of autistic children to learn more about water safety and the way autistic individuals relate to water.
There are many benefits to swimming lessons for autistic children, but it’s equally as important that the swim lessons be directed by an experienced professional. Autistic children have different ways of learning and engaging with the world, and different safety measures need to be employed to keep them attentive and safe.
Kathleen McMordie is an Infant Aquatic Survival Master Instructor and water safety specialist located in Katy, Texas. Show owns a full-service aquatic facility, called Texas Swim Academy. Through a variety of programs, Kathleen and her staff of instructors at Texas Swim Academy strive to introduce children to water at an early age through INFANT AQUATICS, and to fully develop their swim stroke abilities through adulthood through STROKE DEVELOPMENT.
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