There are several benefits that autistic children will enjoy while involved in aquatic therapy. Here are the top 5:
Improves swim skills. In a study most therapists reported aquatic therapy helping children improve their swim skills. This is vitally important since water can be potentially dangerous for autistic children.
Help improve balance. Although aquatic therapy is enjoyable and fun for autistic kids, it also provides several physical benefits such as strengthening their muscles, which in turn help improve balance.
Help with sensory integration disorders. Because the majority of autistic kids have sensory issues, aquatic therapy could be a successful way to assist in managing them.
Improves oral motor skills. On account of some autistic kids having less than optimal oral motor skills, they may have difficulty sticking out their tongue, or blowing out candles, or using a straw, etc. Aquatic therapy could be the perfect means for developing these oral skills. Some aquatic therapy sessions work on blowing bubbles in the water and blowing little objects like a ping pong ball across the pool.
Water may improve overall behavior. A study conducted by Chien-Yu Pan found that mental alertness, focus, and responsiveness rose in autistic students after a swimming lesson.
There is no denying the benefits of aquatic therapy for autistic children. But it’s very important to ensure their safety by teaching them first how to swim, if they have not yet acquired this skill. A 40-minute aquatic therapy three times a week can do wonders for many autistic children.