Although drawn to water, children with autism may not understand that it can be dangerous, or that they need to be careful around it. Combine that with their tendency to wander, and you can see why swim lessons are not just a social activity, but a necessity.

It is important for parents and caregivers to help children understand the dangers of water and to learn these lessons without scaring them off from swimming altogether.

Swimming lessons have so much to offer. More than learning to swim, they are a great way to build physical skills and strength, coordination, increase self-confidence, and improve general water safety. And yes, they are also great for socialisation.

However, not all children on the spectrum are able to participate in mainstream swimming lessons. The key is finding the right swimming instructor and teaching method for your child.

Parents can start teaching their child about swimming simply by explaining what the pool is, what happens when you go into the water and how it feels when you are in the pool. If you want your child to learn how to swim, it's best that you give them the opportunity from a young age, say around 3 years, so that they won't be afraid of water when the time comes!

Some kids with autism can be highly sensitive to water, so it’s important to find a place that offers lessons in a shallow pool. A child with autism should not be placed in a deep end until they are comfortable in the water and have mastered all of the skills needed for swimming.

Keep in mind that not all swimming lessons will be appropriate for children with autism. Some programs may be too distracting or loud, or they may not allow for the instructor to work with the child one-on-one. Having one-on-one lessons allows for trust to build between your child and their instructor – and yourself!

You should make sure that the program is tailored to your child's needs and that the instructor understands how to work with children with autism – their methods will differ from those used in other swimming lessons. Your child will have a better experience if they can speak up when they need help, so you should choose a teacher who can communicate with both them and you well.

Before your child starts their lessons, take them to visit the swim school where they will have their lessons. This will give them the chance to have a look and get a feel for the sounds and smells there. Maybe they can even watch a lesson beforehand and you can talk them through what is happening.

Pools can be great sensory experiences for kids with autism. The water is cool and feels good, the sound of splashing water can be soothing, and it's great to see how quickly you can move in the water. It's also a great place to practice hand-eye coordination as well as social skills.

In spite of this, for some children with autism, sensory issues may arise when your child is in the water. For example, if the water is too cold, it can cause discomfort and even pain for your child. The same is true if they're wearing a wet swimsuit for too long or getting in and out of a pool that isn't heated properly.

Know that children with autism feel the cold more than other kids. If you have a child with autism and he or she is going to be swimming during the colder months, it’s important to keep them warm. Prepare yourself and your child as best you can before taking swimming lessons—especially if they're being done at a public pool where you don't have control over temperature or other conditions. Pack extra clothes or a swim parka so that after your lesson ends, he or she can warm up right away and make sure you cover their head with something such as a hat or hoodie. Drinking hot chocolate or something similar can help to warm them up as well.

Swimming lessons can be a fantastic way for children on the spectrum to enjoy the water and reap rewards both mental and physical. A great form of exercise, swimming can help you to stay fit and healthy no matter what your age or ability level. It also offers a chance for sensory experience in the form of sound, feel, taste and smell.

Swimming itself is a life skill that everyone should learn – not excluding autistic individuals. If you have a child with autism, consider taking him or her to a swimming lesson. You'll be helping them learn valuable life skills and keeping them happy and healthy.


**Note: if you interested in a Swim Parka for your child ask your plan manager if you can purchase from your funding. We are happy to provide them with an invoice.

Customer reviews
Long lasting quality! I don’t usually leave reviews, but I love these swim parkas. Im back here to buy the size up because my kids insist on growing constantly. The ones I bought over 3 years ago still look almost brand new (luckily they can be handed down to younger siblings)
— Kristie Fleming
Innovative idea, great quality! So handy to have with swimming lessons, best on and straight in the car without any mess. Made from quality materials that soak up the water and don’t leave any mess behind, very happy with my purchase!
— Helena Coundouris
This is my second order from Aqua Dash and again the service - easy to order, great communication and speed of delivery was awesome. The product is outstanding, the sizing chart is accurate and the parka does the job of keeping you warm when you hop out of the sea and the car seats dry as you drive home.
— Jan Richards
Amazing customer service, product was as advertised, and is amazing and delivery was extremely quick. I would definitely recommend this product to anyone wanting to keep warm and dry after swimming.
— Helen Man