Our friends at Swim Angelfish, an adaptive swim program have developed a free video series filled with training and tips to assist individuals with autism and other cognitive disorders in the water.
Ellis & Associates (E&A) Joins International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to Offer “Lifeguard Autism Training”
Ellis & Associates (E&A), the world leader in aquatic safety and risk management consulting, has joined the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) in an effort to provide autism training and certification to lifeguards around the globe. This proprietary program is designed to strengthen aquatic safety for individuals with autism and other cognitive disorders. The partnership will make IBCCES training and certification available to lifeguards internationally through E&A training and certification programs. Currently, one in 59 children in the US are diagnosed with autism, with diagnosis rates rising in countries all over the world.
Drowning is the leading cause of death for children with autism and recent reports show that children with ASD are 160 times more likely to die from drowning than the general population of children (Gleeson, 2016), which sometimes leads to parents avoiding water all together.
Also, if individuals on the spectrum have not developed a level of comfort or the proper skillset to know what to do when confronted with water, this could lead to sensory overload when those encounters occur. Signs of sensory overload can vary for each individual, but typically there are ways to recognize these signs and reduce or prevent sensory overload or “meltdowns”.
This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to have children with autism have experiences in water with trained professionals. If they can develop a comfort level and get practice in the water under proper supervision, then being around water will be that much safer for them in other areas of life.