Swimming and Autism - Learning How To Swim

Swimming and Autism – Learning How To Swim

Swimming and autism are a complicated pairing.  My son started his swimming lessons last year.  It’s been a couple of years since the last time he had lessons.  Swimming and autism are a complicated combination.  For my son, learning how to swim has been difficult.  It takes an understanding of the gross motor skills involved that he doesn’t have.  My son naturally tenses up when he is excited.  Being in the water makes him really happy, gets him excited, and his whole body just tenses up.  We all know that one of the important abilities to have, when learning how to swim, is the ability to relax the body.

My Son and Swimming and Autism

The rest can be taught by repetition.  He knows how to kick his legs.  He knows how to move his arms.  He just can’t float.  Summertime is all about swimming and autism for us this year.  At least, Monday through Thursday (morning lessons), it’s what we focus on.  My son gets his lessons, and then my daughter gets hers.  I was really surprised this year, because my son wasn’t the only autistic child taking lessons this year.  There are two others in this session.  One is with his class, and the other is in a different class.  My son is the lowest functioning, which sometimes makes me sad.  I just wish that my son was a little more advanced in his functioning.

As you can see from the pictures, my son loves the water.  He could be in the pool all day, and he would be the happiest boy in the world.  I don’t know if my son will ever be able to swim independently.  I hope that one day he will.  I’m not going to give up.  He is signed up for three sessions of swimming lessons for the summer.  Each session is two weeks.  I’ll keep you posted on his progress.

Have you had dealt with swimming lessons and your autistic child? I know there are some places that have autism swimming lessons.  Staff that are trained specifically to teach autistic children to swim.  Unfortunately, none are close to me.  Where do you take your child for swimming lessons?

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