Swimming Safety Tips and Resources
Summer is in full swing and with it comes the heat, so what better way to have some fun in the sun than with some swimming! On those scorching days, a swim in the pool or a fun day at the beach makes it like a step into an oasis. Yet it can be a bit difficult to fully enjoy a summer swim with loved ones on the autism spectrum. As a parent, it is only natural to worry about the safety of your child and to wonder about how your child will respond to being in the water. Behavioral Health Works is here to help ease your mind by providing you with a few tips and resources to fully enjoy your fun in the water.
- Research Other Swim Resources: There are a variety of different resources out there to help families affected by autism obtain the resources necessary to help teach their child how to swim. For example, Autism Speaks’ Swimming and Water Safety Scholarship Fund provides grants to organizations throughout the nation for swimming and safety lessons to individuals with autism. For more information on this program Click Here.
- Consider Swim Lessons: Teaching a child how to swim can sometimes be a difficult one but there are a variety of different resources such as finding autism-friendly swim instructors. These instructors will not only teach your child how to swim but will also allow them to interact with others. In addition, they will also show you tips that will help when they are in the water and how to stay safe and have fun at the same time. For a list of local autism friendly swim instructors Click Here.
- Practice, Practice, Practice: We have all heard that practice makes perfect. If your child is taking swim lessons, be sure to ask their instructor what the most ideal way would be to help your child practice their swimming outside of their swim lesson. In addition, when practicing with your child, be sure to be:
- Be Consistent: By repeating the skill your child will be able to master the skill.
- Introduce Change Slowly: We do not recommend that you jump from one task to the other as it can be confusing for the child. Spend time laying out a skill or concept and slowly transition to another technique to practice.
- Celebrate All Newly Attained Skills: It may be as simple as touching the tip of their nose to the water or it could be swimming a whole pool length with a new stroke. Show your child how each step forward, big or small, is a huge accomplishment.
- And Most Importantly, Have Fun!