Swimming lessons for kids with special needs. Why is swimming such a good, all-round activity for children with autism. All this and more, explained in the article! Read on and remember…just keep swimming!
Nothing is more rewarding than a special needs child squealing with excitement from swimming, and with a beaming look on their face that says, “I did it”. The joy and freedom that water gives to children with special needs is priceless. The pool is a welcome safe haven for them, and for good reason. This is also a main reason why swimming is good for them.
Swimming is beneficial to everyone – young and old. But swimming lessons for children with special needs is extra beneficial, especially when taking part in one-on-one swim lessons. This is because swimming lessons for kids help achieve three major goals for them: developing self-confidence, boosting physical activity levels, and molding self-esteem.
Why is Swimming Good for them?
Sometimes, it can be difficult for kids with special needs to cope with “normal” daily activities. Difficult, but not impossible! So, it is important to know that they too can easily get accustomed to handling everyday routines like using the restroom, playing on the playground or even maneuvering a store or restaurant; once you enable them with the right activities.
The good news? The swimming pool levels the playing field! It is especially good – and perhaps exciting – for special needs children when administered on a one-on-one level. Why? Because one-on-one swimming lessons for kids with special needs offer, among other many beneficial things. Such as:
- A sense of feeling and companionship
- Friendly and warm individualized attention
- Self-confidence, accomplishment, and a sense of comfort
What are the Physical Benefits of Special Needs Swim Lessons?
The swimming pool is a relaxing, fun-filled environment for a child of any ability level. It’s also a healthy physical activity that keeps their small bodies fit. As each swimming stroke or water kick increases water resistance, it also helps build important muscle groups, improves breathing, and strengthens the heart.
But most importantly – swimming lessons for children with special needs improves their development of motor skills, physical coordination, and balance. And since it’s a non-weight bearing exercise, they can move with ease in the water and work their muscles, which can sometimes be a challenge for them otherwise.
In addition, swimming lessons helps those with motion difficulties like cerebral palsy or spina bifida as they can enjoy the swimming experience as water provides a restriction-free environment.
Fun Fact: did you know that water buoyancy reduces a child’s overall body weight to almost 80%, making them feel super weightless in the water?!
What are the Emotional Benefits of Learning to Swim?
Swimming lessons for kids with special needs is rewarding and beneficial, emotionally as well. It makes the kids team with new life and develop self-confidence & self-esteem.
The best experience that swim lessons offer to these children is an exponential sense of achievement. The “I did it” moment gives them new freedom to expand their boundaries and discover new abilities in the water. Nothing helps elevate their emotions more than this.
That’s why one-on-one swimming lessons for children with special needs aims to help them function in their peer group. One of the core values of teaching one-on-one lessons to students especially with disabilities is to focus on their strength.
So, does swimming help autism? the answer is, yes! Through swimming, your special needs child is exposed to new social interactions, making them feeling comfortable around their peers. And as confidence increases, they’ll feel even more equipped to deal with challenging or stressful situations.
About the Guest Author
Nikos Vasilellis is the Founder of Nereids Aquatic Coaching. The only thing that compares to his love for swimming is his desire to help others. Upon fulfilling his lifelong dream of shifting to Australia in 2013, his passion for aquatics eventually led to him to founding and successfully running The Nereids Aquatic Coaching Company. This multi-faceted aquatic coaching establishment helps children and adults overcome their fear of water, by focusing on their individual strengths and helping them enjoy the aquatic environment. Nikos’s continues to follow his passion everyday: teaching and helping others to improve themselves, overcome their fears and achieve their dreams.