The term high-functioning in regards to autism is not an official medical term or diagnosis but an informal way in which to recognize that a child with autism is able to function alongside their peers at a higher functioning rate than others with autism. The child will be able to speak, write, read and take care of basic life skills, even living independently as an adult.
Children with high-functioning autism do have a difficult time with communication and social interaction. It is hard for children with this type of autism to read social cues and make friends. Because of this, parents like to encourage their child to take part in activities, to have something fun to do as well as learn how to interact socially. One option is swimming lessons.
Swimming lessons are a great way for a child to learn safety measures in the water as well as practice social interaction. It is recommended that the child enroll in private swimming lessons. Instructors are able to provide one-on-one lessons to the child so that the child can focus on the movements and learn how to swim, all the while feeling comfortable. Being in a setting with many children can be overwhelming and distracting for a child with high-functioning autism. By providing one-on-one instruction, the child can learn the basics of swimming and parents can feel good knowing their child will be able to be safe when in the water.
There is also the social aspect to consider. Even though the class does not involve other children, there is an instructor. The child may have difficulty interacting sociallyand working with an instructor can help them learn how to relate or interact with adults. If the child functions successfully with the , instructor steps can be taken to move them into a smaller group class when ready to make friends or become more comfortable in the group.
If the high-functioning child is already able to thrive in a social setting, the lessons can include a handful of other children. Parents have found that their high-functioning child is able to get along well with others as they all learn the various movements involved with learning how to swim. The child can make friends and feel better equipped to deal with social situations as they arise.
Children may also feel more at ease in a smaller class or private lesson alone with an instructor. Children who are high-functioning can be devoted to order and routine. The child may have repetitive motions or habits that they must complete to feel comfortable. At times, such routines can long to others. If the child has such lengthy routines’, they may feel more comfortable working with a patient instructor who is able to teach and work around such routines.
At Zodiac Swim School, they offer low ratio classes that work well for high-functioning children. Private lessons are also offered so that the instructor is able to provide the child with specialized lessons based on their pace of learning. Day camp options offers children the ability to have a shadow or the parent to accompany the camper to help the child feel more at ease as they transition between each activity, including swimming. This process has a small fee included. To learn more about such swimming lessons and camp activities, contact Zodiac today.