Water Benefits Kids with Special Needs
Water is a great motivator for children with special needs. Kids who are limited by movement on land can often learn to move without restriction in the water. They learn the water safety and swimming skills they need to be confident in the water and they have fun exploring new boundaries. This creates a water experience that is not only exciting and educational, but also empowering and fulfilling.
According to the National Autism Association, drowning is the leading cause of death among children in the autism spectrum. The American Institute for Preventative Medicine states that drowning also is the leading cause of death among children in the U.S. under age 5.
Therefore water safety skills are an essential foundation for all children for a lifelong, safe enjoyment of the water.
We strongly believe in the therapeutic effectiveness of water as a therapy, especially with children with autism. Aquatic interventions have shown to be a significant factor in the development of sensory processing, providing a needed calming tactile stimulation that decreases a child’s hyperactivity and stress. The fact that it takes three times more effort to move through water than it does through air seems to provide the extra stimulation that children with autism as well as those that are hyperactive seem to need.
Miller Swim School provides private and small group swim lessons for children and adults with a variety of special needs including but not limited to
- Aspergers Syndrome
- Rett Syndrome
- Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
- Sensory Processing Disorder
- Down Syndrome
- Hearing & Speech Impaired
Through participating in swim lessons, the “special child” learns to feel more positive about himself/herself in an environment that promotes success mixed with fun and play.
Some other benefits –
- Improves flexibility, coordination and range of motion
- Strengthens and tones the muscles without hurting vulnerable joints.
- Longer exercise time because the body is working with buoyancy, not gravity as on land
- Increases the child’s self-esteem because he is able to forget about his limitations while learning new behaviors, skills and learning strategies.
- He is able to forget about his limitations while learning new behaviors, skills and learning strategies.