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Adaptive Swimming for Children with Special Needs

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Do you have a child with special needs? 

According to the National Autism Association, drowning is one of the leading causes of death for autistic children due to wandering behavior and a lack of swimming skills. So teaching your autistic child to swim is essential to protect them, especially if you reside in an area near a pool, lake, river or pond.

Safety is number one, but teaching your special needs child to swim is a great way to promote behavioral changes, fitness, stronger muscles, improved motor skills, endurance, coordination, and body control. Not to mention that it's fun! 

Year round swimming programs for special needs children are available in many communities.

Look for programs that:

Provide at least one lesson with clothes and shoes on;
Provide individual lessons;
Concentrate on repetition;
Teach basic swim skills and breathing techniques;
Teach safety;
Limit diversions;
Adapt to participants' needs;
Utilize a comfortable water temperature.

Often referred to as "Adaptive Swimming" these lessons are geared towards children or even adults with disabilities. For best results, find an instructor who has an Adapted Aquatic & Rehabilitation Certification.

Remember that you may need adaptive equipment, too, such as goggles, swim boards, swim belts and swim diapers .

Flotation swimsuits are also a great tool.

Adaptive swimming lessons are a great way to insure that your special needs child has the necessary skills to stay safe near the water and to give you some well-deserved peace of mind.

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