Dad on a Mission to Teach Children with Autism to Swim

A reward after a successful lesson helps to motivate your child

At the very least, children with autism need to learn how to dog paddle to the side of the pool and how to lift themselves out of the water. However, many of them have low upper body strength. For this reason, it is necessary to make swimming fun. The best way for a child to become a strong swimmer is for them to spend time strengthening the skill in the pool and doing so in an enjoyable way. “Making it a game, and making it fun is the key to getting the child to practice. A reward after a successful lesson helps motivate the child. The reward could be anything from ice cream to screen time” said Wiseman. Once a child has developed a positive relationship with water and the proper safety skills, the next approach requires some thought and consideration. “Kids with autism are very intelligent, and they know how to get what they want even though they may not be able to express it. If a child with autism wants to go swimming and he knows there is a pool at the neighbor’s house, that child may find a way to sneak to the neighbor’s yard creating a dangerous situation” said Wiseman. This is why perimeter security in the home is of the utmost importance for children with autism. Alarms and locks are just some security measures to consider.