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It’s an unfortunate fact that accidental drowning is a leading cause of death for children aged 14 and younger. Sadly, the number of accidental drowning deaths skyrockets for children on the autism spectrum.
According to the National Autism Association, drowning accounted for over 90 percent of total deaths for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) between 2009 and 2011. Even more shocking is that children with ASD are 160 times more likely to die from drowning in comparison to other children.
Why Children with ASD Are at a Greater Risk of Drowning
Wandering and elopement are a common behaviors exhibited by children with autism. This leaves these youngsters more vulnerable to risks like falling, getting hit by a vehicle, and hypothermia.
Water is a very real and serious risk for children with ASD as they tend to gravitate towards bodies of water. Experts have hypothesized that these children seek out water because of its therapeutic qualities. Not only is water visually and audibly engaging, but going underwater can also provide children with ASD much welcomed relief from the sights and sounds around them.
Another compounding issue is that children with autism are less likely to be able to properly assess common risk factors that come with entering the water. They aren’t able to consider challenges like slippery surfaces, strong water currents and lack of adult supervision.
Lisa Mikosh, a parent of an autistic child attending Texas Swim Academy, experienced the very real threat of possibly losing her son with ASD after he had ran half a mile from her and entered a lake. By the time Lisa was able to catch up to and get into the water to try and save her son, he was drowning.
Thanks to a kind stranger nearby, Lisa and her son were pulled from the lake and they survived. But this terrible experience made Lisa realize that the swim instruction she and her husband had provided their autistic son simply wasn’t enough to ensure his survival.
Why Adaptive Aquatic Swim Lessons Are the Solution
Autistic children often do not thrive in standard swimming lessons. Instructors don’t know how to communicate with children with ASD and these children are left feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and disengaged.
Here at Texas Swim Academy, we believe that every child deserves the opportunity to learn water safety and survival in a compassionate and caring space. That is why we offer Adaptive Aquatic Swim Lessons that are customized to meet the unique needs of your child.
We provide children with a comfortable and reassuring environment to learn and practice fundamental lifesaving water and swim skills. Our experienced instructors are specifically trained in autistic swim instruction and are able to effectively communicate and teach with swimmers with ASD.
April is Autism Awareness month, and we want to make sure that all children on the spectrum and their families are given the gift of confidence when they are in and around water. To learn more about our Adaptive Aquatics Swim Lessons, stop on by the Texas Swim Academy facility in Katy or give us a call at (832) 437-6186.
SWIM SCHOOL IN KATY
Texas Swim Academy is a state-of-the-art swimming facility offering water safety, survival swim, and kids swimming lessons in Katy, Texas. Owners Kathleen and Bruce McMordie, alongside our certified staff, help parents introduce children to water at an early age through the Infant Survival Swim Program , teaching life-saving techniques and basic swimming skills.
Our Stroke Development Program offers six different levels to help students progress in their swimming skills at his or her own pace. Our Adaptive Aquatics Program was created specifically for children with special abilities. Find swimming class registration information here. By subscribing to Texas Swim Academy’s blog , you can stay current on valuable water safety resources such as survival swim, health and wellness, Texas Swim Academy news and more. Follow our Facebook , Twitter, and YouTube pages for even more news, updates, and tips!