Swimming as a teaching opportunity

Swimming as a teaching opportunity

By POPARD

Swimming lessons and pool parties lead to opportunities to teach individuals with ASD independent showering.

Pool showers are great places to teach showering skills because everyone is wearing a bathing suit and there are usually multiple showerheads. This way, you can model appropriate showering for the individual with ASD and provide appropriate prompting and reinforcement. There are many ways to approach teaching or improving the independence level of this skill. Creating lists of needed items (towel, bathing suit, etc.), task analysis with pictures or even behavioural expectations could all be beneficial strategies.

Some individuals may require more explicit teaching and a task analysis of showering could be used. This kind of visual lends itself to data collection relatively easily. For example, you could be collecting data on how independent the individual is at each step and if they required any prompting (physical

; gesture [g]; verbal [v]).

Just like teaching or increasing the level of independence in any skill, there will always be some challenges. One obvious one for teaching showering at a pool is that properly washing all body parts is not appropriate and some individuals may not like showering with their bathing suits on. Additionally, keep in mind that individuals will require additional teaching to generalize this skill to ‘normal’ showering in their own homes.


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