5 Reasons Why A Pool Could Help Your Autistic Son Or Daughter

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Experts estimate that 1 in 68 children in the United States now has an autism spectrum disorder. As the incidence of autism rises across the country, many parents want to consider different ways that they can help their children cope with this difficult condition. While your child is likely to receive various types of treatment through your doctor, other interventions at home can help autistic kids cope with their symptoms. Find out how a swimming pool is one way you can help your son or daughter.

Prevent drowning

Worryingly, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death of autistic children in the United States. In fact, 90 percent of all the accidental deaths that affect autistic children under the age of 14 in the United States occur due to drowning.

Crucially, water often holds a strong and dangerous appeal for autistic children, even if they haven't yet learned to swim. Autistic children may also seek isolation in certain situations that they find stressful, and these kids may get into water as a way to escape, with devastating consequences.

A pool at home can help you develop the vital water safety skills your autistic son or daughter needs to survive. A pool at home makes it easier for your child to learn to swim, and he or she will also become more familiar and comfortable with water.

Distracts children from repetitive behaviors

Autistic children often display repetitive behaviors that can make life difficult, especially in stressful situations. Self-stimulation behaviors like teeth grinding can cause physical harm, and some autistic children even start to self-harm.

Swimming can help autistic children break these habits. Time in the pool requires concentration and focus, which can help autistic children interrupt these harmful repetitive behaviors. For example, learning to float in the water will distract children from other movements because they need to use their arms and legs in a specific way in the pool.

Relieves stress

Autistic children often suffer with sensory overload. Sounds, smells, tastes and sensations that other children may ignore or treat as normal can quickly overload and distract a child with autism. This kind of hypersensitivity can cause problems in an autistic child's life, and swimming is often an effective way to ease this stress.

The physical activity of swimming helps relax a child's muscles. The energy he or she uses to swim can also ease hyperactivity. In turn, your son or daughter may find it easier to concentrate outside the pool. Swimming can even help autistic children sleep more easily.

Boosts cognitive function

Swimming can boost an autistic child's cognitive function. Time spent in the pool can help your son or daughter improve his or her motor skills and increase his or her attention span. Like other forms of exercise, swimming boosts blood flow to the brain. This can help vital brain cells start to function more effectively.

What's more, a swimming pool allows children of all types to benefit from the water. Some autistic children may simply enjoy the sensation of floating in the water, while other kids will love time spent underwater. With a pool in your backyard, you have the means to give your son or daughter the mental stimulation they need.

Offers a valuable social outlet

Autistic children may struggle in social situations, and your son or daughter may find team sports difficult. Many games simply have too many elements to focus on. Your son or daughter must think about how to interact with his or her teammates as well as the opposition, and autistic children may find this too stressful.

Swimming offers an effective social outlet without some of the stress other games create. In the water, your child doesn't have to think about how he or she contributes to the game, but there's still a strong sense of fun and social interaction that can help autistic children thrive. Indeed, the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation runs a swim program for autistic children, and a pool at home could help your child benefit even further.

A swimming pool could help your autistic son or daughter cope with the symptoms of his or her condition. Talk to a pool builder for more information and advice about the options available to you.

www.contemporarypools.com

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24 February 2016

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