How to Teach Children to Swim With Autism

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The following tips may help an autistic child learn to swim. Sensory differences can cause children to fear or dislike water, so additional effort is required to ease the anxiety over above that experienced by children in general.


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    Show your students the correct technique only. When teaching autistic children, it is best to avoid the “right way versus wrong way” teaching technique. One characteristic of autistic children is that they pick up many details, and sometimes struggle to sort the irrelevant ones from the relevant ones. If you show them the wrong way, they may pick up on those details. In other words, you even have to be extra careful when demonstrating that everything you show your students is precisely what you want them to do.
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    Use a child’s special interests. Autistic people are often very passionate about a particular object or topic of interest. Using a child’s interest may be the most important technique you can use to capture and hold their attention during lessons. These interests can be as varied as the children themselves, so remain open to most anything, from science to Superman to jellyfish, or even sharks! Follow your student’s lead; a student who is engaged is a student who is learning. Continue to involve your student’s special interest throughout the lesson.
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    Use visual supports. Autistic children may struggle to process auditory input, so visuals help them catch all the useful information. Since many autistic children are visual learners, it is incredibly important to have your rules, techniques, and expectations in a visual format (see video below). Try using illustrations to demonstrate the correct technique, such as, streamline swimming, or freestyle bent arm stroke (see images below).
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    Plan your lesson carefully. Each lesson should include a warm-up and cool-down routine. These should be the same routines for every lesson and can be as simple as splashing water, kicking on the step or blowing bubbles. Routine will help to calm the child’s nerves and increase confidence in completing tasks.


Via : WikiHow

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