Helping Your Child Swim This Summer
We’re in the heart of summer, and you are probably considering all the fun things you can do with your child with autism. For many parents, the idea of introducing swimming to their child might feel overwhelming, but there are some serious benefits to letting your child learn how to swim.
Water can have an increasingly alluring appeal to children with autism, but this fascination with water can be potentially dangerous. By giving your child the tools that he/she needs to be able to swim, you can reduce the chances of an accident and excite your child with a new skill. Here are some tips on how you can support your child’s venture in swimming.
Find an Instructor
It’s always best to match your child with a swimming instructor who has worked with children with ASD. Swimming lessons are a great way to incorporate swimming into your child’s routine. If possible, work with an instructor who knows methods that work with children who have autism.
(Look into Autism Speaks. Call them and see if they know where to lead people looking for instructors)
Celebrate Little Triumphs
You probably realize how important it is to celebrate the little wins of each day. When your child is learning how to swim, cheering him/her on when there are mini-moments is huge! This can be as simple as him/her touching the water with his/her nose or swimming three feet. Positive reinforcement has shown to help increase positive behavior in children with autism. You might remember the first time you were able to swim the length of a pool; that moment was so momentous at the time, and as your child undergoes swimming lessons, these triumphs should be celebrated.
Don’t Move Too Fast
Helping your child progress in his/her swimming lessons does not necessarily mean moving quickly. In fact, children with autism tend to maneuver better through small changes over time. This means that you child may need weeks to learn how and feel comfortable with touching his/her nose to the water. Over time, you can work with his/her instructor to introduce new steps. When you avoid overwhelming your child with new concepts and actions, you can make the learning process easier and less frustrating for your loved one.
Swimming is an important skills that your child can learn. Consult your child’s therapist and/or specialist before beginning any lessons.
Being a parent to a child with autism is a life-long journey. At Hidden Treasures, we can help your child “Discover the Treasure Within” through our ABA therapy services. Learn more about Our Program and contact us TODAY!