How Swimming Can Benefit Children with Special Needs

There are so many benefits for all children who take swimming lessons, but there are even more for children who have special needs. Drowning is the leading cause of death for children & adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Additionally, children with ASD are 160 times more likely to die from drowning compared to a neurotypical child. Learning how to swim is a necessary skill for all children, but especially vital for children with special needs. Wandering, motor skills and sensory overload are just some of the things that can lead to an increased risk of children with special needs drowning. Beyond increasing their safety around water, swimming lessons can help your child with many other surprising benefits.

Relaxing therapy and fun

For many children, water is a soothing environment and has a calming effect thanks to the repetitive motions of water moving around them. With small class sizes or private lessons, there are less distractions swimming when compared to other sports. In other sports, children may feel responsible for the team winning or have to expect a ball being passed to them. During swimming lessons, they can learn at their own pace and have a dedicated teacher who is there to help them progress while having fun.

Social skills

Swimming lessons can help children with special needs improve a range of different social behaviours including sharing equipment, cooperating, taking turns, making friends and keeping physical boundaries. Additionally, there have been studies reporting that after aquatic therapy sessions people have found significant improvements in initiating and maintaining eye contact during & after the sessions.

Improvement in gross motor skills & muscle strength

It can be hard sometimes to get any child to exercise regularly. Swimming is a fun, low-impact exercise for children with special needs that helps them with coordination, functional strength, endurance and balance.

Increased confidence

Learning a new skill like swimming and finding a hobby they really love can significantly boost your child’s confidence and self-esteem!

Aquastar’s Learn to Swim classes can accommodate children with special needs. Our friendly teachers really get to know their students and thrive on helping them improve their swimming skills. Get in contact with us on (03) 8551 8077 or fill out our online enquiry form to learn more!

*https://www.sbs.com.au/news/drowning-is-the-leading-cause-of-death-among-children-with-autism-report
**https://autismswim.com.au/2019/08/18/some-of-the-many-benefits-of-swimming-and-aquatic-therapy-for-those-with-asd-other-abilities/