Autism and Water: The Fascination Explained
It is a well-known fact that children with autism are often drawn to water. The glittering, flowing liquid captures their attention and interest. But what causes this fascination with water? Let’s explore the connection between autism and water.
Autism and Water: A Sensory Experience
Water can be considered the ultimate sensory stimulus, which may explain the link between autism and water. Each of our senses, such as sight, hearing, and smell, reacts to water in a unique way.
For children with autism, water is visually appealing. The waves of the ocean, the stillness of a lake, or the distorted colours and lines in a pool all stimulate their senses and pique their interest.
Swimming comes with a range of sounds, including waves crashing, water rippling, and splashes from jumping or playing. The diverse sounds provide children with autism with an opportunity to identify and distinguish them.
The scents of open water and pool chlorine are distinct, helping children with autism differentiate between different aquatic environments. This can make them more comfortable and confident in these settings.
Autism and Water: A Thrilling Experience
Swimming presents a unique sensory experience for children with autism. Their hyperactive senses can become further heightened, resulting in an overwhelmingly thrilling experience. For children with autism, multi-sensory integration is challenging, which means they may struggle to process different stimuli at once. This can result in sensory overload and explain the attraction to water.
Furthermore, research has shown that children with autism exhibit stronger sensory-seeking behaviour than their peers. This could explain why they are drawn to water and find it exciting.
Autism and Water Safety: Learning to Swim
While swimming can be an enjoyable and beneficial experience for children with autism, it’s essential to ensure their safety. Accidental drowning is a leading cause of death for children with autism.
Swimming lessons can be incredibly beneficial for children with autism. Studies have shown that swimming can improve muscle strength, attention, balance, and social skills. Additionally, it can boost confidence and help build relationships.
At Easy2Swim, we offer private swimming lessons for children with autism and other special needs.