Most kids find it fun to splash around in the pool, but for a kid with sensory processing disorder, swimming can sometimes feel scary, especially at first. However, with the right encouragement and assistance, many kids with sensory processing disorder can really enjoy the sensory stimulation provided by swimming.
Trying to entice your kid with SPD into the pool? Then, check out these five supplies, some from companies like Pooltime:
1. Reverse osmosis filter
To a kid with SPD, the chlorinated smells drifting from the pool can be offputting. You can reduce those odors by putting in a salt water pool rather than a traditional chlorinated pool, or if you already have a pool, consider getting a new filter. Reverse osmosis or ozone generator filters are the best for cleaning the pool water in a way that doesn't emit odors.
2. Automatic Solar Heater
In many cases, kids with SPDs may find it disturbing to go from the warm air into the comparatively cool temperature of the pool. You can use any type of pool heater to keep your water warm enough to accommodate your child, but if you want it constantly warm, consider using an automatic solar heater.
These automatic heaters contain sensors. Whenever the temperatures drop, the sensors trigger the system, and the water begins naturally heating, ensuring it is always warm when you want to use it.
3. Flotation Devices
Many kids with SPD don't like getting their faces wet, even in the bathtub. A flotation device can help keep your child's head and face out of the water, while also allowing your child to slowly choose to put his or her face in.
If your child enjoys being restrained, as many kids with sensory integration issues do, he or she may really like wearing goggles. In fact, goggles can take swimming from distasteful to enjoyable for many kids.
They hold hair out of your child's face and make it possible to see underwater, but they also provide a sense of restraint and structure. Swim masks also work well and may be preferable to goggles for some kids.
5. Water Shoes
If the rough surface of your pool's floor bothers your child, invest in a pair of water shoes. That will help your child to feel more comfortable. If the water shoes don't provide enough support to your child, try acclimating him or her to the rough surface by rubbing his or her feet before you get in the pool.