I have two sons who are autistic. My eldest son is 10 and is finding swimming lessons very stressful at the moment. He has a diagnosis of high functioning moderate autism and he has a lot of processing difficulties.
We have tried other clubs (beavers, football, chess, pottery) all of which he found extremely stressfull so I stopped sending him. We have told him however that swimming is for safety so he has to learn to swim.
He hasn’t had lessons (apart from school) for some time so we’ve put him in to one to one lessons. It is just him, his brother and sister each with a teacher in the pool and me watching. It is much quieter and calmer than his old lessons but he is still getting stressed about going.
I’d love to hear from others in the autistic community who have had similar experiences either with swimming or other activities that are stressful for them, and find out what they found helped them to cope better. What can I do as a parent to make him feel better about it?
I second the comments about earplugs, I wear them in the shower. If water goes in my ears it feels like it goes on my brain. I clean my ears with cotton buds.
As an activity you could try ornithology. It’s all about different patterns, colours and shapes. The different songs and flight movements are interesting too.