4/3/15 | Pool Safety
Swimming and Autism: 5 Water Safety Tips to Remember
It is a well-known fact that swimming provides many health benefits. For children on the spectrum, swimming is one of the many physical activities that can keep their sensory channels well stimulated which, in part, helps the brain and injured neurons to regenerate and improve cognitive function. But due to the nature of the condition, often, parents worry how to maintain water safety for their children.
Keeping children on the spectrum safe can be more challenging at times. That’s because children with autism are more susceptible to danger despite the level of safety parents uphold to. However, parents don’t have to worry in the dark forever. They can help their children cope with the situation and at the same time help their kids improve their sensory channels.
These proven and effective tips can help keep your children safe.
1. Make family and the neighborhood part of the safety plan
Get the entire family involved and even your neighborhood part of this plan. If not, this could lead to unwanted situations. Let them know about your child and your safety plan so they are aware and can be active participants.
2. Add a safety fence
Aside from securing your home by adding special locks, it is also advisable to build a safety fence around the pool for the safety of all children. A condition known as “autism wandering” is common but alarming. When an autistic child wanders, he is usually driven by the strong desire to “dash” to another place (regardless of the environment) especially if something has caught his interest.
If your neighbors have a pool, let them know about this safety tip. It could protect your children as well as other children in the neighborhood.
3. Keep toys and any distraction away from the pool
As mentioned, when a child wanders, he often does not care about his safety or the environment. To avoid this situation, keep toys and other “interesting” items away from the pool.
4. Hire an expert
If you want your child to learn how to swim, hire an expert. Even if all children on the spectrum manifest the same conditions, each child is still unique and may require an individual approach to learning.
5. Be strong and don’t give up hope
A parent’s continued determination is a child’s strongest point. At times, situations can be frustrating and recurring but what you are doing is so important. It’s important to provide safety measures to keep children away from harm but not to the point that you are depriving them the opportunity to expand their horizon and develop their skills. Try to focus on your child’s strength and ability and commend each and every progress they make.