Autistic Children At Increased Risk For Drowning

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Swimming is a favorite summer activity of almost all children, and it’s a popular way to beat the heat. But water safety concerns are particularly heightened for families of children with autism. Drowning is a leading cause of death for children on the autism spectrum. But there’s no need to keep your autistic child out of the pool. Ask your child psychiatrist for advice on talking to your child about water safety. Then follow these tips:

  • Enroll your child in swimming lessons as early as possible.
  • Before going to a public pool or pool party, make sure your child knows his or her name, address and phone number in case you get separated. If your child doesn’t speak, have him or her wear a bracelet with the information.
  • Avoid sensory overload. During autism and Asperger’s treatment sessions, your child will gain skills to prepare them for sensory overload. But during summer vacations where new places are explored, the new environments could cause anxiety in an autistic child. Try to prepare your child for what he or she can expect before you travel.