Benefits of Swimming For Special Needs Children
1. It’s proprioceptive.
Swimming is a very proprioceptive sensation, which means that all that pressure you feel when you get into the water can be very comforting to our kiddos and any kids who seek sensory input.
2. It brings new opportunities.
For a lot of our kids who are more tactile defensive and don’t like new sensory experiences, the water can be a real challenge. That’s something we want to help them learn to overcome because a huge part of recreation in the areas we live in is swimming, whether in lakes or pools or even in the ocean if you take a trip to the beach. We don’t want to see people limit themselves. We’ve talked to adults who have never learned how to swim and they often say they regret it. Plus, it’s much harder to learn to swim later in life than earlier.
Plus, whether our kiddos can just walk in the water or actually swim, there are all kinds of experiences that can happen in the water including things like lazy rivers, which are really fun!
3. There’s a huge therapeutic value to swimming.
It’s a wonderful core strengthening activity. The way you have to move your body and hold your positions, you’re doing so much work with your muscles! So it’s a great athletic experience as well as a great sensory experience. We recommend swimming all the time for our families who are looking for an extra sensory push. We’ve seen some of our severely involved kiddos become very active in Special Olympics, and swimming is one of the preferred sports that they work on.
4. It’s a safety issue.
We want to make sure our family members are safe swimming because there are so many times when we might be around pools or lakes. It’s a good idea to make sure our kiddos know how to handle themselves in the water.
5. It’s a great social/recreational experience.
Swimming is a very social experience. A lot of people play games in the pool. Many of us who are older can remember swimming and playing Tag and Marco Polo and many other games. It’s quite a social experience, and it’s a great recreational experience that people like to do. So we want to really be able to provide that sensory experience, that social experience, that recreational experience so that our clients can function in all those occupations in their life and not feel like they’re not able to participate.
So you can see there’s a huge therapeutic value to swimming, as well as a social/recreational/sensory value. That’s why here at Cutting Edge we have chosen to build a pool in our new facility in Allen. We will have an indoor pool which will have steps to go down and graduated surfaces to ease into the water. It will also have a treadmill in the bottom of the pool! This will allow us to work on some specific types of activities. We’ll even be able to set up a table and games to work on social activities in the pool!
We will all be getting certified to do special aquatic therapies, and we’re very excited about that! We’re excited to be able to offer this to our families. We think it’s going to be a huge benefit for our clients!
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