Water and the Autistic Child
At some point, every parent will find that their child is magnetically drawn to the water. Well, why wouldn’t they be? Water is moving, soothing, and always fun.
Even as adults, we are captivated by the undeniable power and comforting effect of water. Had a rough day, and we are bound to draw a long bath to sink up to our nose in. Need an overdue vacation that promises happiness and tranquility? We inevitably go in search of the perfect waterfront location, where we can stretch out in the sand, close our eyes, and just feel the cool water moving in and out…crashing over our bare feet.
Now think about a child. A child feels everything to the fullest. They are pure and bubbling excitement. They are still learning and experimenting with the feel of things; therefore they savor the journey of every experience. Children crave activity and attention, and they absolutely love hugs and comfort. Just imagine how it feels when they step into the water and feel it wrap around them in this rocking hug.
Now consider an autistic child; a child that feels lost and confused in a world with which they cannot communicate. Imagine the feeling of rushing through life, with a million thoughts in mind at once. You do not understand many of the things going on around you; just as other people will never understand much of what you hold silently inside your head. Everything is whirring and buzzing around you, you are expected to talk and interact and become part of society, but you simply do not know how to satisfy society’s demand. This is the world of an autistic child… a scary and frantic world. In this world, the attraction to water must be immensely magnified.
Immerse an autistic child in water, and it is sure to be a mind blowing experience for them. Quiet, soothing, and undemanding; they can splash, play, and easily move around without the clumsiness they endure on land. Autistic children thrive on sensory pleasures, and are often founding utilizing self-stimulatory behaviors like hand flapping or twirling. Water is something with which they can silently interact and then watch and feel it push back to respond. With all the wind whispering, splashing sounds, and cool sensations, it is sure to be the ultimate cradling lullaby.
More Intriguing Questions:
1). Why do autistic children bite?
2). Do autistic people have autistic children?
As small as this post is…I found myself reading it several times. My son was just diagnosed. He is 3. I cannot help but feel for him. I don’t know what it’s like for him but I imagine it cannot be easy. Thank you for this article. It gives insight to those who are desperately trying to figure their child out. To try to comprehend his world is unimaginable.
I understand the pain and confused feelings. But Do not worry. Do not judge him. Just be his backbone and support him with love. I also encourage you to read this oath , “http://autismsd.com/the-autism-oath/” everyday to remind you that you will love him unconditionally.
Once you finally get to the point of figuring your child out it will be so much easier for you and your child. Until then Hang in there and remember how many others are going through the same thing and can relate and reach out to them for help and comfort, because they’re the only ones who true oh can understand this life we live. I blog all about my little boys autism and our life with it.
Hi my name is Alyssa. My son just turned four and he is diagnosed with asbergers which isnt a very serious autism but I have noticed this in the last year. The pediatrician told me to order a book called ” living with the active alert child.” I just ordered it for myself maybe you should too. I just found it on eBay for four dollars maybe this will help the both of us Understand our children 🙂
There are 2 issues with children with autism and swimming pool danger. Children on the spectrum are particularly drawn to swimming pools for the calming effect of the water. However, since their minds cause their senses to work differently, they are not able to understand the potential dangers of going into the water alone.