swimming and autism children adults with autism, a personal case study of my own
swimming and autism / Introduction:
Swimming and autism/ If you are interested in buying eBook/pdf £4-79 teach your child to swim, use it for you children or teach yourself. 15 chapters, if you are not satisfied or unhappy I will refund your money.
Swimming and autism a personal case study. It is what it says, I’m not an expert in autism at all I know there are so many different individual levels in the spectrum.
Some cases are mild and some more severe. What I have to offer on this page is my experience of teaching children with autism, what I have learned and experienced for myself.
You may read this and say that'll never work. But these methods have worked for me and may not work for another
All I do know is I have tried and tested my methods
and they have worked for me.
What I have learned about teaching people with autism is from one child for about three years. I have recently tried the same on another autistic child and I have discovered that
it has worked straight away. This time within weeks not months. It has been from trial and error with another that has made my job much more easer on this other child.
What I hope to achieve from this page is to simply pass on what I have learned to you so that you will pass this on to someone who has autism. You'll never know this may
work for a range of disabilities, children and adults who do not have autism. To be honest I don’t know you have to go out there and try it.
I’m really interested to know what you
think of my techniques as well as how you get on yourself as well as any questions you may have. So I have left a submission form at the end of this page so you can get in contact with me and I can reply.
swimming and autism/ legs:
I will refer to my swimmer as E, he is 8 years old and has autism, and he does not appear to take any information in when it comes to teaching him to swim. only a little bit of information he appreared to take in at a time.
When I first met
him he was 5 and to begin with you would have never thought he would learn to swim. He did not appear to take in anything. I was telling him what to do but E did his own thing it was as if I
was not there. I would put a swim belt on him and try the practices that are show in my other pages about teaching children to swim or my eBook that goes into more
detail. Every time I would give him hand floats he would let them go. I would constantly give them back to him and repeat the process, this would last month’s not weeks
until one day he held his hand floats and kicked his legs. He had one float in each arm and was able to propel himself. This I believe was due to constant routine to
keep repeating mysel.
It was due to constant reinforcement, never giving up and never changing the practices unless there is no hope at all. Always give a few
weeks until you change and if something works stick to it. Don’t try to be clever it confuses the person you are trying to teach by being inconsistent, stick to what works and don’t change it.
swimming and autism/ Arms
I had been keeping the swim belt on E whilst putting a woggle under his arms. Then I had to encourage him to reach out his arms and pull. This can be a problem when children with autism have problems processing the information, well this is what I found.
Begin by physically standing them in the shallow water and holding their hands and moving them in a reach and pull motion, like doggie paddle. Before you start see if you can do some push and glides, click onto this link to look at my page which covers push and glides.
click here to see my page which covers push and glides
keep trying until you succeed. You may be thinking it’s easy for you to say, well its isn’t actually I know how difficult
it can be this is why I feel the need to write this page to help you. I Kept on trying with support then without when he finally could do the arms.
A good idea is to put your arms just beyond his/her reach and see if they can touch their hands then move them away. Keep on doing this until the reach and pull action is performed.
Swimming and autism/ Arms and legs together:
Once I had managed to get E to swim with a swim belt and float as well as being able to reach and pull I began to start the process of reinforcing this be continually repeating the process over and over again, so that the skill becomes imprinted on his memory. Once he started to swim with these floats I started one arm one float
Swimming and autism/ click onto this link to see my page about freesyle swimming which includes one arm one float
But it is what is says he holds one float with one hand and uses the other arm to swim so enabling him to practice
one arm at a time. Every time I gave him one float and got him to swim he would let it go after a few seconds. This would happen again and again. I simply kept my
patience and kept on giving him the float again and eventually after about 4-5 week of constant repetition he did it. The satisfaction is overwhelming the thrill
I get from the achievement really makes my job worthwhile. But this can also help outside the swimming pool using this method I’m sure.
Gradually bit by bit doing push and glides in shoulder depth water then increasing the distance I got E do the push and glides in out of depth water, to lead to
eventually swimming with a swim belt only in out of depth water. This was an amazing achievement for E and this is looking at a time scale to get from the begging
to this stage was about 6 months.
( swimming and autism )
swimming and autism / From swim belt to without:
The next stage was to get E to swim without a swim belt this did take some time I’d say about almost 12 months. it was a combination of push and glides and swimming with a swim belt but taking off the little individual floats gradually, as well as a lot of repetition.
Every so often I would lie him on his back with me holding
him to give him confidence. I would constantly work with the same amount of floats on his swim belt and not take one off for weeks leading to a month sometimes. There were
7 little floats so you can imagine how many months it took. But it’s worth it in the end. In the end E swam without the aid of any floats in the deep end, he can go down under the
water out of his depth and pick up an object. He can also swim on his back without any swimming aids
The next skill I needed to achieve is to get him to swim with technique. At the moment he was swimming in doggy paddle in the deep without aid but although he has achieved
a lot more than expected I wanted him to go further and achieve more. I must admit I tried everything. I began with the wheels on the bus go round and round getting him to move his arms round and round. I tried physically sitting him on the side or stood in shallow water and moving his arms in the correct direction.
Then I tried putting my hand just beyond his reach and asking him to get his arm out of the water and touch my hand. All these methods were tried for several week but none of them worked at all.
one day E did something well and I said to him well done that was great give me a high five, and he did, this then gave me the idea, so I tried standing in front of E and holding my hand up i.e. left hand saying come E give me a high five. He did, he raised his hand out of the water and gave me a high five whilst swimming. I was so pleased, then I used it for getting his arm out of the water, as he swam I stood in front of him held up my hands and sure enough he gave me a high five. Then I developed it so that as he gave me a high five I would move my hand and his arms would come out of the water. Then after a while say a few months I was able to stand about 2-3 meters away and say give me a high five and he would pretend and get his arm out of the water, I have now used this method for teaching other autistic children and children with learning disabilities and it has worked every time, I’m not saying it’s a sure fire way of teaching but it has been working for me so far. So you can use my experiences to help you, and I must add that the high five have used for young children and they love it it’s a game but they are getting their arms out of the water, couldn’t be easier.
(swimming and autism)
swimming and autism/ Conclusion
So conclude my page about swimming and autism. It is to simply to use your imagination, your skills and knowledge of the person you are trying to teach. Try all different
methods until you find something that is suitable for your swimmer. Nothing is right or wrong it can be trial and error
but I’m simply offering some of my knowledge as a guide line to help you teach children with autism. I know there isn’t much information out there, but there is now,
Thanks for taking trouble to read and good luck, if you want to ask me any questions just go onto one of my questions and
answers page below and ask away I’ll be glad to guide you and give you all the advice I can.
Dale :) swimming and autism
Swimming and autism/ click here to return to hompage
Do you have any questions or comments
Do you have any comment or questions, do you want to contact me and ask me anything in regard to my website, anything you want to ask, do you have any suggestions comments good or bad, I welcome all constructive criticism.
Maybe you want to add to my website. Do you have any experiences or teaching practices you would like to the site and get the credit for? You can include photographs etc, whatever you like. Maybe you’re in a club and you want to advertise or you are in a synchronised swimming group and would like to talk about it and methods and techniques used to achieve this skill. The list is endless and I welcome anything as long as it’s to do with water and swimming I really don’t mind. I don’t mind if you want to advertise your club etc go for it, try to make it interesting so that other may want to comment or add to it, it makes it more fun and enjoyable.
So get writing and I look forward to receiving your comments, questions, feedback or web page submission