What are the benefits of swimming for children with autism?

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Children with autism show low levels of physical condition, which is due to their reduced interest in physical activities with lifeguard recertification near me.

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What is Autism?

The term “autism” is etymologically derived from the Greek word “self” and indicates the isolation of a person from himself.

It is a serious developmental disorder characterized by:

  • severe retardation in language development
  • reduced social interaction and communication
  • limited activity
  • repetitive and stereotyped behavior
  • subsequent forms of sensory reactions
  • heterogeneous forms of mental functions

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All these signs begin before the child is three years old. Both the World Health Organization and the American Psychological Association classify autism as a “disorder of the central nervous system.” Autism belongs to the category of Pervasive Developmental Disorders, it is not a psychiatric disease. These disorders are characterized by severe deficits in many areas of development, which is why they are called “diffuse”. goodexpressday

The two other Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are Asperger’s syndrome, in which cognitive development and language delay are not observed, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Specified (PDD-NOS), in which both are not met adequately meet the criteria for the other two disorders.

Each child is special and unique in their diagnosis, which makes people with autism significantly different from each other !

Autism and exercise

The participation of people with autism in exercise programs is an integral part of their overall treatment.

Incorporating physical activity, combined with a healthy diet, helps control or lose weight as children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are up to 40% more likely to be obese than children without ASD, the which is related to physical activity limitations as well as medications used to treat behavioral disorders.

Exercise contributes to:

  • in improving muscle strength
  • of endurance
  • of aerobic capacity
  • in improving sociality
  • of behavior
  • of autonomy

It is important to create an individualized education program (IEP) for each child according to the physical activity that suits the preferences and abilities of children with autism with lifeguard recertification near me.

But what kind of exercise is appropriate for children with autism?

It is widely known that the best sport is the one with which the child has the most fun. However, in the case of a child with autism where social and communication deficits and difficulties in coordination of movements prevail, their participation in team sports such as football or basketball may not be the best options.

These activities require direct communication with others both verbally and non-verbally such as hand or eye signals combined with quick reactions during the game. Establishing positive recreational habits in children with autism is essential. The participation of children with autism in individual sports such as swimming , therapeutic riding, athletics and martial arts seems to have more positive results. shoppingstops

Swimming and Autism

Most children with autism love water which makes swimming an enjoyable activity for them.

The question arises as to whether it is necessary to learn to swim in children with autism?

Research shows the utmost need for learning swimming skills as an urgent survival skill.


Children with autism are at high risk of drowning . Research results show drowning as the leading cause of death in children under the age of 14, accounting for 91% of child deaths in this population. Ignorance of danger and their interest in water can develop into an unpleasant event.

Starting with safety rules, which is a vital precaution and a fundamental skill that both children and parents need to know in order to be safe, and continuing with learning swimming skills always combined with play to enjoy the water environment.

The participation of children with autism in a swimming program is an important factor in reducing the sensory stimulation due to the temperature of the water and the intensity of the exercise.

The skills developed carry over to other aspects of a child’s life such as increasing strength and endurance and reducing stereotyped movements. Also buoyancy in water supports body movement by reducing the effect of gravity, tension in body parts and fear. It also contributes to:

improving range of motion

  • self-concept

Swimming requires coordinated movement, something that children with autism can learn easily, as long as there are no complex requirements, thus improving their coordination. In addition, the repetition of swimming skills and the low social demands gradually help to promote the motor, social and emotional domain as well as to improve concentration and eye contact.

What needs to be understood and requires a lot of care and patience is that it can often take a child a long time to adjust to the water conditions and come close to touching the water. When this is overcome the child finally enjoys this activity. A decisive role is played by the physical education teacher who should possess:

  • sensitivity,
  • humanity,
  • happy mood,
  • understanding of child behavior

Ignoring inappropriate behavior and at the same time ingenuity to change the lesson plan to avoid it
Above, extensive reference was made to swimming as a means of exercise and entertainment where, through the teaching of swimming skills and safety rules, the aim is to improve physical condition, psychosomatic well-being, entertainment and socialization and as a final goal and where possible the swimming performance.

Swimming – the all-rounder if you want to work on your condition

By Christopher

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