Sensory Integration Swim lessons is especially important for children with specical needs.
Here are the benefits: All children need to learn how to swim and respect the water. In the situation of a child who is less aware of his/her surroundings and challenged with processing motor skills, sensory and communication it is even more crucial. How can an special needs child learn to swim? We offer one-on-one instruction for 15 minutes or 20 minutes once a week. Many of our Instructors have a Special needs teaching credential and or have years of experience teaching many different types of classified special needs. As each child is very different, so is their needs so each class is geared towards building a connection with the Instructor and slowly adding skills once trust is established.
Learning how to swim is not only a life saving skill or a sport it is also a form of therapy.
Sensory integration: Determine your child's sensitivities, and find out about occupational therapy, some insurance companies cover swim lessons as occupational therapy. Occupational Therapy and warm water pools: Heated swimming pools create a feeling of relaxation. Our pools are heated to over 90 degrees. Water temp is very important for children with special needs. Children who have difficulty processing the sensory input in the world around them often find swimming to be a welcome safe haven. The weightless feeling combined with the warm water is very soothing and therapeutic.
Cognitive Processing: Cognitive processing of multiple steps or multiple things to do while coordinating is a big task! Swimming is a long term commitment with children and especially special needs children. Things that might seem so easy to do might take a while to accomplish for example, momentum to jump or dive in the water, blowing bubbles, moving arms and legs at the same time, rolling to float for a breath and return to swim position. This all can be accomplished but does take time and dedication from the family, student and instructor.
Motor Skills/ Large Muscle Development and Coordination: In swimming student use large muscles to swim. Swimming involves coordinating arms, legs and breathing. The key strokes to learn are freestyle and elementary backstroke these strokes involve a lot of coordination to be mobile in the water. Once these strokes are learned then the others are introduced. Building Self Esteem: Building up self esteem with any swimmer is important. That is why we have established the swim levels and ribbons. When a child is awarded a swim ribbon after a level is accomplished this is a huge boost for the child establishing a positive accomplishment. Too often, children with special needs are a labeled as not hitting the "standards"...in the swimming pool there is no standard and at Little Dippers we do not like putting limitations on children. Swimming offers that opportunity to succeed that all parents want for their children. All children special needs or not benefit and succeed in the pool with positive support and long term commitment.
Socialization: Once a student is ready to progress to a semi private class from a private class students are able to socialize with other students, play and learn from watching each other. Repetition and recognition is a wonderful part of semi private classes with other students.