Swimming is essential for special needs children in many ways!
Swimming for children with special needs is beneficial not only for their better physical condition, but also to improve their behavioral and mental health. It helps them to obtain good stamina, muscle strength, better behavioral condition, body flexibility, better self control and coordination, etc. Moreover, spending time in the water keeps the kids relaxed and calm, hence kids should be motivated to spend a good amount of time in doing the water activities.
Let’s discuss some points on how to teach swimming to a child with special needs:
o Use proper adaptive equipment
Using adaptive equipments can make water activities more beneficial for the kids with special needs. For example, the floating mats and life jackets are helpful for kids with motor disorders to enjoy the water activities easily and safely. Some particular swim caps and swim plugs are also available there for the kids with tubes in the ears, such devices do not let the water enter into the ears and prevent any kind of harm.
o Understand the needs of each child
Not all the children need the same activities and training as it depends on the type of disability a child has. The training of some children may include visual cues and some kids need verbal instructions, while other kids understand better with bodily demonstrations. It is important to provide the environment and lessons according to each child’s requirements, these children are more comfortable and able to learn in pools when there are no disturbances in the environment.
o Pay each child a proper attention
Swimming can be a new activity for some children and they can be uncomfortable or afraid of it in starting. So it is important to pay an individual attention to the kids and help them in every way until they learn it and become able to practice themselves. However, in certain cases a child needs an attention every time, even after he has been trained.
o Be regular
The activities and training should be done in a constant manner in order to get better results. Irregular routine and frequent changes in teaching methods can affect the motivation and learning process of a child.
o Safety and protection
As we all know that, safety is the first priority in swimming programs and when it comes to special needs child it becomes even more important as these children need more care and attention. The most common safety measures include- clean environment and water, small class sizes, good instructors, best arrangement for emergency situations.
Special needs swim classes are helpful to unlock the potential capabilities in the kids, which might not be possible to emerge without such activities and exercises. However, it is essential that a child should be trained by highly skilled and experienced trainer. There are some excellent swimming schools available for children with special needs all over the world, such as www.hvswim.com in Orange County, NY.