By Emily Hollinberger, Swim Program Coordinator & RBT
Swimming is a great life skill and lifetime commitment. For countless of our families, water safety is the number one concern. It is important for our patients and families to be armed with a basic water knowledge to help keep our kids with Autism safe in any circumstance they might find themselves surrounded by water. The bathtub is a great starting point to learn blowing bubbles and beginning to float on your back, both vital lifesaving skills in the water. Here are a few starting points to help you both with bath time in your home and whatever water you might find yourself in.
- When blowing bubbles, it is important to remember that “noise coming out, water CANNOT go in”. A great fun starting point is to practice blowing raspberries or other silly noises with lips outside of the water. As your child becomes more comfortable with blowing noises, have them slowly lower their lips into the water blowing big bubbles. Keep practicing bubble blowing in the bathtub, in the pool, and anytime you are in the water.
- Countless parents struggle with bath time and pool time when water enters their child’s ears. Fill up the bathtub with just enough water that your child can lay back into the tub only covering the back side of their head. Have your child lay back and relax in the water. Slowly over time continue to fill the tub with more and more water until the water is covering about half their ear. This is a great way to help your child adjust to water getting inside their ears and help them relaxing in the water. These are all the basic steps for back floating independently in a pool.
Arming your child with the beginning of these water safety tools are vital. Not only can it become a fun nightly routine, it can help jump start a new love and skills in the water.
Want to better equip your child in aquatic situations? Learn more about our adaptive swimming lessons.