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In a Series of Blog Posts, this being Part II, we’ll be giving you information on how we are applying UCLA’s Remaking Recess to Swimming Lessons for the Autism Spectrum. The UCLA Autism Intervention Research Network Behavioral Health (AIR-B) recently published Remaking Recess, a guide to improve the social inclusion of elementary school children with autism spectrum disorder through facilitated peer interactions.

Remaking Recess is an intervention that focuses on increasing social engagement between children with autism (ages 5-11 years old) and their typical peers during the less structured times of the school day.

One with the Water coaches continually research and study techniques and child psychology therapies to use during swimming lessons. UCLA’s Remaking Recess, a booklet that we found useful for modelling positive social behaviors in Autism Spectrum swimming lessons, is a great resource for professionals working with children on the autism spectrum.

Continued from our previous blog post, I want to discuss in this post the importance of social engagement and interactions for children. As it is for all relationships, time is the most important factor required to get to know someone. It’s not any different for children with special needs. Even “research shows that successful social interactions between children result in friendship development.” For children with autism, this is even more critical, because “socialization is one of their most challenging and least malleable core deficits.”

Many high-functioning children with autism experience loneliness and social anxiety, but often lack the social skills and opportunity to successfully engage with their peers at school.

At One with the Water, our coaches create opportunities to challenge children to seek out opportunities for social interactions and engagement. The Dolphin Swim Team for kids is a great way to immerse your child with other children to help your child develop their social skills. By combining a physical and social activity, your child will not only gain social skills but also develop and learn about being part of a team. Sports psychology author Jim Taylor, Ph.D., has stated that endurance sports have been found to enhance brain development and raise IQ. Swimming and sports teach kids about emotional control, help to build confidence, and develop focus.

Kids learn essential life skills, such as hard work, patience, persistence, and how to respond positively to setbacks and failure. Jim Taylor, Ph.D.

We hope you’ll learn more about  One with the Water and our Mission, and how you can become involved! Contact us today to learn more.

About One with the Water

One with the Water offers competitive swim training and year-round swim instruction for children and adults with a wide variety of skill levels, from total beginner to competitive athlete. In addition to their national-level competitive swimming skills, One with the Water‘s instructors are trained to work with children and adults diagnosed with autism, Asperger’s, ADD, ADHD, sensory integration, anxiety, Down and CHARGE syndrome, auditory processing disorders and dyslexia and others. Founder and Head Coach Kenneth Rippetoe is certified by the American Swimming Coach Association Disability Level 3.

One father – whose son is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder – reported,

Henry really responded to [head Coach Kenneth Rippetoe], and looks forward to his class more than anything else right now. After the first class, he suddenly looked forward to and enjoyed swimming, as opposed to dreading it. He made huge strides, the biggest he has ever made, working with [One with the Water].”

Tax-deductible donations to the scholarship program of One with the Water, a 501(c)(3), can be made at the organization’s website: OneWithTheWater.org.

UCLA Autism Intervention Research Network – Behavioral Health (AIR-B)

AIR-B recently published Remaking Recess, a guide to improve the social inclusion of elementary school children with autism spectrum disorder through facilitated peer interactions. Remaking Recess is an intervention that focuses on increasing social engagement between children with autism (ages 5-11 years old) and their typical peers during the less structured times of the school day. Click here to download the World Premier version of Remaking Recess.
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