Sensory Processing Disorder & Swimming Lessons
Parents should get their children who have a sensory processing disorder into special needs swimming classes for many reasons.
First, learning how to swim is a necessity for everyone who will ever be near a swimming pool, lake or any body of water at any time in their life.
Those students with a sensory processing disorder get a two-fold benefit from this life saving skill.
Many people have sensory issues that relate to water - some are afraid of the water, while others love the water & are not aware or can't comprehend the possible danger of drowning.
The number one cause of death in Autistic people is drowning because of the absence of this skill.
Students with a sensory processing disorder relate to water may experience extreme fear & an inappropriate response to the sensory signals that are disorganized within them.
It is imperative that they take private swimming lessons to overcome this fear which usually spills out into other areas of everyday life.
For example, students with this type of sensory processing disorder will usually have a fear of putting their head under a shower, or taking a bath, or even just getting their face wet for daily hygiene.
Other students have a response to water with a different kind of sensory processing disorder which causes the complete opposite reaction & behavior.
For example, those who love the water with this disorder may be overly stimulated by it.
Students with a sensory processing disorder may have symptoms which, when they are around water, may cause them to become
- not being aware of the danger of drowning
- or extremely aggressive.
The response to the exposure of water becomes their biggest danger & obstacle.
One of the greatest benefits for these students with this type of sensory processing disorder is once they learn to safely handle themselves in the water, their attention is heightened.
Therefore, when they are in the water, other skills can be worked on, such as
- gross motor skills
- fine motor skills
If this type of student loves the water but has another area of a sensory processing disorder, such as a response of fear of noise, social interaction, then this is a great opportunity to achieve success in these areas.
For a student with a water sensory processing disorder to get the most benefit from swim classes, they should be with a teacher who understands this condition, has experience in dealing with this,& makes the classes fun in a safe and & controlled setting.
These classes should always be in a one on one setting, so that other areas of their sensory processing disorder can be studied & goals can be set & then met.
If a student has an extreme inappropriate fear response to vents or tubes, but loves the water, this is a perfect time to work on overcoming that phobia.
If a student loves the water, but has underdeveloped social skills, this is also a great time to reach goals in this area.
However, if the student has the kind of sensory processing disorder where the water creates a response of fear & anxiety, this kind of instruction provides them with a safe way to work through these response which usually spills over to the area of bathing, showering, etc.
The benefits of private swimming lessons with an experience & fun teacher can change the world of a student with a sensory processing disorder.
They will have the opportunity to release their anxiety of water- related activities, relax & even enjoy themselves.
In addition, those with a water sensory processing disorder whose response is over-the-top excitement who take this instruction, will have the opportunity to put in perspective all water-related activities & actually have a sense of calmness around water.
They may even develop a tolerance or even fondness to the water.
When a student has a sensory processing disorder it is vital to diagnose & set goals to achieve success in each specific area.
In regards to water & the skill of learning to swim, it can be a difference between life & death.
It can also determine the family vacation location, as parents of these students with sensory processing disorder understand only too well.
In addition, when goals are accomplished in students with a sensory processing disorder it allow them more freedoms, more social interaction opportunities & a lifestyle that is more comfortable to them & those around them.
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