Autism Spectrum Disorder: Swim Lessons Are Important for Safety and Survival
Of all of the challenges mother and father of a kid with autism face, ensuring they’re protected across the water might be not prime of thoughts. However, it must be. A brand new research reveals that youngsters with autism are at a a lot larger danger for drowning than different youngsters.
Researchers from the University of Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health analyzed the dying data of over 32 million individuals. They found that youngsters with autism are 160 occasions extra more likely to die from drowning than the overall pediatric inhabitants.
This leads many autism specialists to consider that swim lessons are simply as necessary as early intervention providers after an autism analysis. They urge mother and father to show their youngsters with autism to swim – or discover a certified teacher – in order that they know primary water-security expertise and have the power to get themselves out of a lake or pool in the event that they fall in.
“All children, but especially children with autism, benefit from swim lessons,” says Donna Phillips, a swim teacher on the Healthplex® Sports Club, who works with youngsters who’ve autism and developmental delays. “It helps them to appreciate the joys of the water and develop a healthy respect for its potential danger.”
Why Are Kids with Autism at Greater Risk for Drowning?
It’s not autism itself that creates the elevated danger, however one of many different circumstances that generally happens with autism. These embrace medical and psychiatric points reminiscent of ADHD, epilepsy, nervousness and melancholy.
“Another behavior common to children with autism is the tendency to wander away from their parents, which can increase their risk for accidents,” says Nandini Iyengar, M.D., director of Developmental Pediatrics for Crozer-Keystone Health System. “Nearly half of all children with autism exhibit wandering behavior, and the likelihood of wandering increases with autism’s severity.”
Wandering is, in some methods, a type of communication for the kid with autism who might not have the ability to talk in one other approach. It’s a method of discovering one thing they’re focused on or escaping from a irritating state of affairs.
When they wander, many youngsters with autism hunt down water sources. Researchers speculate water has a relaxing impact and may additionally supply the sensory stimulation – sights, sounds, feeling, and smells – that youngsters with autism want. The hazard occurs once they wander into water and don’t have the swimming expertise to get out, or the communication expertise to cry for assist.
The Keys to Preventing Accidents
It’s unattainable to stop each accident earlier than it occurs, however taking preventive measures may also help scale back your youngster’s dangers.
“Teaching children skills like flipping over on their backs can be a lifesaver if they fall in the water,” Phillips says. “This can be a challenge for kids with autism who may not want to have their faces or ears in the water because it can overwhelm their senses. Swim lessons can help them acclimate.”
If you’ve gotten a toddler with autism, the next methods may help guarantee their security:
- Teach water security: Swim classes present the essential expertise a toddler with autism wants. The National Autism Association offers an inventory of swimming packages for youngsters with particular wants. They can accommodate the distinctive sensory challenges widespread to youngsters with autism.
- Secure your own home and property: Help forestall wandering by putting in locks, residence alarm methods, and a fence round your yard.
- Alert your neighbors: Inform your neighbors about your youngster’s tendency to wander, particularly in case your neighbors have a pool. Extra units of eyes can be useful.
- Use a medical ID bracelet or monitoring gadget: If your baby has problem speaking, a medical ID bracelet with their identify and make contact with info may also help in the event that they wander or get misplaced. Placing a small monitoring gadget in your youngster’s pocket or backpack might help pinpoint their location.
“Many youngsters with autism cannot inform you what they’re afraid of, they usually might not even know themselves,” Iyengar says. “Swim classes construct their consolation with the sensory enter they get from the water. I’ve additionally seen swimming assist them to construct confidence in different areas of their lives.”
If your youngster has autism, speak to your physician or early intervention specialist about further security methods which will assist.