In this blog SpecialKids Company is going to tell you about the benefits of swimming for special needs children. Side note: if you are looking for fun and funky incontinence swimwear, designed to provide extra flexibility and assurance if you have a child who is incontinent, be sure to check out our swimwear section.
Swimming is inclusive and can be done with the whole family
One of the great things about going swimming is it’s inclusive. It’s something that the entire family can do together, whether it’s in a paddling pool outside, at your local swimming pool or at the beach. It can be difficult to find inclusive activities when you have a child with special needs. This is something that all children enjoy regardless of their age or abilities.
Swimming is an important life skill that can save lives
Now not every child with special needs will be able to learn how to swim or basic water safety, but if your child can, it is a vital skill to have. It teaches a life saving skill that can protect your child from the dangers of water. Children with autism are prone to having a fascination with water and according to the National Autistic Association, sadly drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children with autism. If your child can learn to swim, teach them! Ask your local pool if they have special needs swimming lessons. Alternatively, you can hire a professional swimming instructor.
Swimming is great exercise
Swimming is without a doubt fantastic exercise and something that can be done throughout the year. It can help build muscle strength as it uses practically every muscle group in the body. Swimming is ideal for children who need physical support as water helps to support muscles.
If you have access to a heated pool or a hydrotherapy pool, the water can help to relax their muscles and increase flexibility. This can also help to reduce any discomfort or pain they might be experiencing.
Swimming is good for your mental health
Swimming is without a doubt good for your mental health. It can provide a calming experience for people with special needs and it’s also lots of fun! Swimming is said to help improve symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. It can also help to build confidence.
Lots of children with special needs often miss out on activities because they are not inclusive. Swimming for special needs children can be. It provides opportunities to have fun and socialise with family and friends.
Swimming is fantastic sensory experience
Depending on your child’s sensory needs, swimming can be a great sensory experience. It can be extremely calming for children with special needs, especially the sense of being weightless in the water. The constant pressure of the water can also be reassuring. Sensory input is heightened in water because of this, which has an added benefit of helping to improve physical and spatial awareness as well as improving motor skills.
Of course, some children will require aids to be able to go swimming, such as a pool hoist or a Changing Places toilet. Lots of swimming pools now provide these. To find out if your local pool has a Changing Places toilet you can check on the Changing Places toilet map online here.
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