Swimming Tips For Special Needs Children
One question we often get during the summer is, “When should I teach my child to swim?” Or, “My child is struggling to learn to swim, and I’d really like to help them.”
Water safety is a very important thing. Until your child is water safe keep a life vest or floaties on them whenever you’re around the water because dangerous things can happen to a child who is not water safe.
Where Can I Find Swim Classes For Children With Special Needs?
Thankfully there are places around the area that offer special-needs swim classes. For our clients who have neurological disorders, or who have autism spectrum issues, there are places that will work with your child. You are more than welcome to call or come by our office and pick up our resource list for options!
Handling Sensory Issues:
Another thing to think about is if your child is typically developing but they have some sort of sensory issue, they may also struggle with swimming lessons. Even if you don’t have a diagnosis, kids with sensory issues sometimes find being in the water to be an overwhelming sensory experience and may need some one-on-one instruction. It doesn’t have to be a special-needs swimming instructor, but just someone who can work with them one-on-one and have some patience with those issues.
When Should They Start Swimming?
We have seen babies learn to swim! Sometimes, starting earlier is better. At some of the Emler schools, they have classes where Mommy and baby get in the pool together to work on swimming. We don’t believe there’s ever really too early of an age to start learning to swim! Babies can learn to swim, and repeating that skill early is helpful.
Another thing that happens is often times our kids learn to swim, and then we take the year off. Then their first time back in the water is traumatic and shocking. So please be patient with that. It’s relearning a skill, like getting back on a bike when you haven’t ridden in a long time or trying to drive a car when you haven’t driven in awhile. You have to re-orient to the process.
We have lots of resources available for swimming! Come by and get our list! Swimming is such a great sensory experience, and a great core strengthening experience, as well as a wonderful recreational activity the whole family can enjoy!