Swimming can be a highly motivating activity for all young children, but may have increased benefits for toddlers with special needs. Toddlers with physical disabilities may experience increased mobility in the buoyant water, while toddlers with autism or sensory integration impairments may enjoy the tactile experience of floating in the water.
And the sheer fun of swimming may motivate children with speech impairments to use a little more language to obtain a special water toy or gain additional time in the water.
Children with ear tubes or hearing aids often need ear protection in the pool. Some children may have tubes surgically placed in their ears to prevent a buildup of fluid in the middle ear. In these cases, doctors often recommend that children wear ear plugs to keep bacteria from entering the ears while swimming.
There are a variety of products available, including custom ear plugs, ear putty and even headbands, to provide protection. Most manufacturers recommend that children with hearing aids remove the device prior to entering water.
However, if you would like your child to be able to wear her hearing aid in other areas of the pool, such as the locker room, it may be helpful to use protective equipment to keep moisture from entering the expensive equipment. Consider purchasing waterproof seals to cover your child’s hearing aids.
Toddlers of all ability levels require arm’s length supervision while in the water. Toddlers with special needs, particularly physical disabilities, may increase their comfort level and access to swimming activities with flotation devices.
Children with reduced head and neck control may benefit from a swim collar, worn under the head to keep your child’s face out of the water. There are also floats and mats designed to support your child’s trunk, while leaving her arms and legs free to move and play. Flotation belts provide additional support, but allow for freedom of movement during water activities.
Many toddlers, regardless of ability level, are still in diapers, and toddlers with special needs may require additional time to master potty training. If your child is not toilet trained, it is important to find swim diapers designed for water wear.
Standard diapers are more likely to leak fluids or fecal matter into the water, contaminating the pool with bacteria. There are many disposable swim diapers on the market or you can purchase reusable swim diapers made of waterproof materials.
If your child has a latex allergy, you must find a swimsuit that is latex-free. Many swimsuits contain latex in the elastic, so purchase a swimsuit that is labelled latex-free. Specialty companies also offer latex-free swim caps and swim goggles.
Water toys can often enhance the swimming experience, particularly for children who may have difficulty remaining engaged. While unnecessary to purchase specialty toys, just choose toys based on your child’s individual needs and preferences.
While the water itself is a sensory experience, some children craving increased input may enjoy toys with interesting shapes, colors and textures. Bumpy balls or other easy catch balls may be ideal for beginning ball play in the water. Water toys with sounds, such as a squeaky rubber ducky, may appeal to children with visual impairments.
As the pressure to pass standardized tests increases, even preschools are spending more time on strictly academic subjects. Instead of a general introduction to the alphabet, many preschools include a ...Read More
Just because your little learner's lead teacher makes it look easy, doesn't mean that acting as an early childhood educator is simple. Teaching preschool age children requires highly specialized training ...Read More
The best time to send your child off to school depends largely on whom you ask. Proponents of starting kindergarten as early as possible believe it gives a child a ...Read More
Your little one may face a culture shock in daycare if your Christian values prevent him from doing things that are common in many daycare centers. That does not mean ...Read More
In the world of foster care and adoption, when it comes to siblings, keeping them together is always the first choice. Even though in your mind, you see yourselves all ...Read More
Most parents adore that toothless gummy grin, but whether you like it or not, teeth begin to surface as your baby turns around 6 months old and his first milk ...Read More
You can use the camera on your iPod Touch to take VGA-quality photos and store them on the device, but you can also transfer high-quality photos from your computer to ...Read More
Because it's not enough that your preschooler or kindergartner can build an amazing sand castle and (almost) tie her own shoes -- now you have to worry about her math ...Read More
While an early educational program might not ensure that your preschooler is Harvard bound, it can help her to learn better. Whether you are looking to build on a specific ...Read More
In the beginning of the PC revolution, when monitors where often 12 to 14 inches in size, using your keyboard directly in front of the screen was not an option; ...Read More
Instilling self-control by establishing and sticking with rules is the name of the game when it comes to reigning in misbehaving toddlers and preschoolers. Self-control -- something many adults could ...Read More
As the mom of a toddler or preschooler, you are probably well acquainted with the magic of dipping. There's just something about dunking her meal that can get even the ...Read More
Potty training is a normal part of every child's physical and emotional development, but not every child develops at the same pace. If your child is resistant to potty training ...Read More
The grief that accompanies parental death can trigger psychological side effects for your child. If these psychological effects are long term or if they interfere with your child’s emotional or ...Read More
According to the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development, 80 percent of children living in the United States have at least one sibling. Many children have more than one sibling, and ...Read More
There are a number of psychological tests used to measure intellectual ability in children, but there are a limited number that are available for preschool-aged children. Although measurement of skills ...Read More
Toddlers are curious by nature. Young children in the toddler stage are discovering their independence and are interested in exploring the world around them. However, their exploration can lead to ...Read More
You don't have to break the bank to throw your little one a top-notch bash. Free or low-cost places such as public parks are creative alternatives to the more pricey ...Read More
If you're looking for a fun activity for you and your preschooler, (and an unforgettable party treat) these puppy cupcakes are sure to please. If you want to get creative ...Read More
Sensory play activities are enjoyable and educational for your toddler or preschooler. You're encouraged to join in the fun but expect to get your hands messy! Any pastime that stimulates ...Read More