Let’s talk about Sensory!
In this article we look at the Top 5 Benefits of Sensory swimming and how it can be highly beneficial to children with additional needs.
At Splashed Out, all sensory lessons are in warm water in the Hydro pool which remains at a constant temperature.
Sensory swimming will help to stimulate the mind and body, relax your child and build confidence. With the addition of our multi-sensory equipment, our sensory swims are not only beneficial but highly enjoyable for children and young adults alike.
Below we will go into more detail and look at five of the major benefits of sensory swim.
Physical activity and exercise are important for everybody, but is not always easily accessible, or even enjoyable, for those with additional needs or disabilities.
Hydro pools are the perfect environment for your child to enjoy light exercise, as the pool provides freedom of movement for those who might otherwise be in wheelchairs or sat down for most of the day. Studies have shown that children with additional needs can benefit from being in water.
The pressure in the water is slightly greater than air so the water can feel like a comfortable blanket around your child, providing comfort and support to their muscles and joints as they move through the water. The warm water can also help to ease physical pain, and many find stretching the muscles easier in warm water too!
2. Building Confidence and Independence
Another key benefit of Sensory Swimming is its ability to help build the learners confidence in the water.
The Hydro pool is calming and comforting for those with additional needs, the constant warm temperature and calming lights are designed to soothe and stimulate. The pool helps to relax your child so they can enjoy their lesson in a safe environment, which in turn will help them build their confidence to enter the main pool.
Many sports can be difficult for children with additional needs, but because swimming is an individual sport, the child gets a sense of achievement as they feel that they are fully participating.
The instructor can tailor each session to each child’s specific needs, so your child is going to come away from each session with renewed confidence and a sense of accomplishment.
3. Improvement to Social Behaviours
Children with additional needs can sometimes find it hard to talk to and connect with others socially.
Sensory swim sessions can really help to boost a child’s social skills. The sessions require communication with the instructor or sometimes working with peers in the group session, which allows social skills to develop naturally.
The aerobic exercise has also been proven to reduce negative behaviours. For those who have very limited mobility or for those who find it difficult to be vocal, the water can help to support them and aide in mobilising their arms and legs to indicate their preferences when they are in the water.
This helps to develop vital communication skills.
4. Helps to Calm & Relax
Being in the Hydro pool for sensory swimming can help to calm and relax children in multiple ways.
The warmth of the water enables the child to feel relaxed and comfortable as it influences the individual neuro-muscular junctions which results in decreased muscle tone and decreased spasticity.
The gentle and repetitive motion of the water can bring on a sense of calm, along with a feeling of weightlessness in the water where they can just be. Also, swimming fast in the water can help children work out any frustrations they may have, or any feelings of anger.
The exercise will also help to increase endorphins which will help them to feel happier.
This helps the child further develop their physical awareness and also helps improve their fine motor skills. The increased pressure in the water helps the child to understand where they are in time and space and can help them understand how to engage specific muscles for specific actions.
Swimming aids are provided so that the child can move about freely in the water, rotate and explore motion on their front and back.
It also helps to improve muscle tone, gross motor skills, co-ordination and strength. These are skills that are transferable outside the water, which may help improve their overall quality of life.