Influence of swimming on sensory functioning, quality of life and behavior of children with autism

O.V. Musiyenko, R.V. Chopyk, N.B. Kizlo


Aim: to establish the influence of swimming as a means of adaptive physical education on behavior, emotional state, sensory, motor coordination and quality of life of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Material and methods. Three children with autism who were swimming were examined. Research methods: pedagogical observations, pedagogical experiment, method of expert evaluations, questionnaires.

Results. There is a significant improvement in the behavior of children with ASD: reducing aggression and autoaggression, reducing the frequency of stereotyped movements, reducing opposition, improving emotional state, improving willpower, improving coordination and dexterity. According to the results of expert assessment, against the background of increasing the results of dexterity, the formation of swimming skills, a significant increase in positive emotions, the acquisition of communication skills there is a significant reduction in problem behavior. Swimming is a powerful sensory stimulus for children with ASD, they improve their sensory profile by promoting proper sensory responses. Swimming contributes to a significant increase in the quality of life of both children and their parents.

Conclusions: Swimming is a powerful sensory stimulus for children with ASD. As a result of swimming lessons in children with ASD there is an improvement in behavior, development of communication skills, development of smooth movements, growth of positive emotions, development of swimming skills. Swimming also helps to improve the quality of life of children with ASD and their parents. In children with ASD, swimming helps to improve certain indicators of the sensory profile. Individual swimming lessons can be recommended for children with ASD as an effective means of adaptive physical education.


Autism; Swimming; Coordination of movements; Quality of life; Short sensory profile

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