Swimming for people with additional needs
Swimming has many advantages for all children, but it is particularly advantageous for children with additional needs. A swim program for children with intellectual disabilities should have three main objectives:
- Increasing physical activity levels
- Developing self-confidence
- Teaching a lifesaving skill
The pool can be a fun and enjoyable place for children of all abilities to exercise. Water-resistance aids muscle tone and strength development with each kick or stroke.
Learning to swim helps with balance, coordination, and the development of motor skills, which is particularly important for children with additional needs. As children learn to float and then move through the water, they are isolating muscle groups and learning how to coordinate different motions to achieve a physical goal.
According to the National Autism Association, drowning is among the leading causes of death for children with autism. This is because of three common autistic characteristics: wandering, fascination with the water, and a lack of understanding of danger. Across the board, children with special needs have a higher risk of drowning. Teaching children to swim can mean the difference between life and death if they find themselves accidentally in the water.
I can’t say enough good things about Orla and Snámh Linn! Orla is a knowledgeable, engaging teacher who very quickly got my 10-year-old son, who has special needs, comfortable in the water and made him a very competent swimmer. He absolutely loves his weekly lessons and is progressing well in numerous different swimming strokes at this stage. It was great that when he started swimming with his school he was very much keeping up with his peers. Orla had a particularly good way with children who have special needs. Orla’s establishment is spotlessly clean and excellently maintained and I have recommended her to numerous parents without hesitation who have been equally impressed. A 5-star rating without doubt.Marie and Pádraig