Water World

Although some individuals with autism do not like swimming or even taking a bath, others love water so much they must have been born in the ocean. Now that summer is here, let’s look at some fun ways to enjoy water, especially for our friends who are unable to tolerate crowded public swimming pools.

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1. Back yard water park. Put two or three different “kiddie” pools in the yard. Put water in one and put water with some floating toys in another. Put the sprinkler beside the third one so it rains in that pool. Put a “Slip ‘n Slide” in a smooth part of the yard. Or just spread a long sheet of heavy plastic watered down by a hose so your friends can run and slip. Get one of the fun crazy sprinklers that shoot water all around in patterns or randomly.

2. Lawn chair. One of my adult friends with autism who loves water came up with a relaxing way to enjoy water in the summer. He is too big for kiddie pools, and he cannot tolerate the crowds at a swimming pool. So he purchased a reclining mesh lawn chair. He sits in the sun under the sprinkler in his backyard. He particularly likes the fan-type sprinklers that move back and forth, so he is periodically in the water, then out. Because he has always liked the sound of rain, he occasionally sits in his chair holding an umbrella over his head so he can hear the pitter-patter of the sprinkler water on his umbrella.

3. Beach. If you live anywhere close to a shoreline – beach or lakeshore – visit it every chance you have. The rhythm of the waves, the wide open spaces, the constant motion of birds and people, and the unending water are pure heaven for many people with autism. Beaches are autism-friendly because no one pays attention to people who make loud noises or have unusual behaviors. Granted, some individuals cannot tolerate the sand. In that case, look for a rocky shoreline. Rhythmic waves and endless water are the key components.

TIP FOR THE DAY: Find water for your “fishy” friend with autism. It will bring lots of contentment and joy.

NOTE TO READERS AND LISTENERS: I am Cathy Knoll, a board certified music therapist and long-time friend of many folks with autism. At FAQautism.com we are committed to providing free, practical, everyday tips for making life better for people with autism. Feel free to send me a confidential email at talk@FAQautism.com with your thoughts or challenging situations or innovative solution. And don’t forget to check out our website for a wealth of ideas and a glimpse into the world of autism. http://FAQautism.com

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