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Water and autism

Posted by on Sep. 12, 2013 at 7:09 PM
  • 23 Replies
My daughter 32 months now has autism and she loves water! She will run to any puddles, she sees a lake she gets very excited and tries to run towards it. I am not sure what she would do of I leave her hand. Will she go in or she will go out her hand and splash. I have not tried..and I am extremely fearful of letting her do it once as I think she will feel its okay to and keep going there. I want to know, when they say high functioning autism/ aspergers ...these kids will have that sense of fear and won't generally have attraction to water right? Our therapist keeps saying she is high functioning as she speak words and phrases but it's more I want..give me ...and she keeps saying I see this...I see that when we are in car. But I feel if she is really high functioning she would not be having this water attraction in first place. She would not have these meltdowns if she does not get what she wants , would not be flapping and jumpIn around all day.
She will yell grunt If she is frustrated, wil try to bite her toe leg of she's mad. All of these don't show me high functioning symptoms...and at the same time she can follow directions one step at times two and can tell me of she wants to tax a book...or if she wants to watch something and will say help me on something she can't do. I want to ask parents of little older kids did ur aspie/ high functioning did have attraction to water as a child and learnt to understand danger? Or its a low functioning trait which will stay forever. I am just too scared as I see all these children drowning in news.
by on Sep. 12, 2013 at 7:09 PM
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Replies (1-10):
drowningmama
by on Sep. 12, 2013 at 7:15 PM
1 mom liked this

High or low functioning doesnt pertain to your dds interests, stims and whatnot.  Your dd can still go crazy for water - and hey, that might just be an almost 3 year old interest not an asd interest.  You never know.  You just need to keep working with her and allow her to grow.  Good luck.

lady_katie
by Silver Member on Sep. 12, 2013 at 7:21 PM
3 moms liked this

People who are high functioning are still autistic, and can have the same traits as anyone else on the spectrum. For example, I head bang (when overloaded), but I also drive, have a bachelors degree, own a home and am married. I'm high functioning, but have some stereotypical "low functioning" traits. 

lady-J-Rock
by Bronze Member on Sep. 12, 2013 at 7:43 PM
1 mom liked this
All of my kids love water. None of them fear water. When our oldest daughter was three she started swim lessons. She's now eleven and is still into swimming. Our middle child is four she started lessons at three. Xavier is our youngest. He's two years old loves water. We haven't signed him up for lessons because he can't follow simple instructions. We bought a life jacket and every time we go swimming or are near water we put the life jacket on. He made the connection water means special jacket.
jaydensmom1726
by Bronze Member on Sep. 12, 2013 at 8:49 PM
1 mom liked this

my son is high functioning and loves water. he knows that water means he gets his lfe jacket

benny1031
by Member on Sep. 12, 2013 at 9:02 PM
2 moms liked this
My son loves the water and he will run right in when we take him to the lake. He really doesn't havea fear of it at all so when we take him we are aalways there . You just have to be very vigilant but also let her experience it to help with verbalizeing.
Charizma77
by Carissa on Sep. 12, 2013 at 9:03 PM
1 mom liked this

My son loves water, always has. He has to take a bath every night. We got him swim lessons since he was 3 and they help so much. currently he gets aquatic therapy and loves that as well. 

boedekerbrandy
by on Sep. 12, 2013 at 9:16 PM
1 mom liked this

my son loves water, is mistified by it or so it seems but he hates and i mean hates to have it over his head. Bath time or shower are always a garenteed meltdown. I fear that he has no fear other than that cause i read an article on yahoo that when autistic children go missing they usually find them in water and not in a good way. But it makes sense some other parents i have seen in theraphy all have that same fear between water and waundering. Becareful!!!! Good Luck!!!:)

heathers5500
by Bronze Member on Sep. 12, 2013 at 9:21 PM
1 mom liked this
My 5 yr old DS is High functioning and loves water! At 18 months he leaped into his grandmothers pool....ran right past 10+ adults with me screaming behind him to catch him and leaped right in. When I got him out he wanted right back in. Now he understands that he may not go in the water unless he is with an adult..
kjns
by Member on Sep. 12, 2013 at 9:59 PM
Thanks all for your reply. I would really want to enroll her for swimming ....at what age can I put her to swimming class and also are there trainers for teaching autistic children and where can I find them? I am in jersey so if anyone can recommend something. My daughter can lose focus easily and is always on the go. She cannot sit for long and gets frustrated ....so not sure if she will follow directions
lancet98
by Member on Sep. 12, 2013 at 10:29 PM

 

 

Quoting kjns:

My daughter 32 months now has autism

So not quite 3...

 and she loves water! She will run to any puddles, she sees a lake she gets very excited and tries to run towards it. I am not sure what she would do of I leave her hand. Will she go in or she will go out her hand and splash. I have not tried..and 'I am extremely fearful of letting her do it once as I think she will feel its okay to and keep going there.

I either seem to see autistic kids who love water or hate it...no in between...LOL.

 I want to know, when they say high functioning autism/ aspergers ...these kids will have that sense of fear and won't generally have attraction to water right?

No, there is no general rule like that.   And quite often, 'high functioning' only refers to the child's language skills.   Their other abilities affected by autism - social skills, ability to adjust to changes in routine - may be at a VERY different level than their language skills.  

In fact, this is so common, that to me, it often seems that 'high functioning' really refers to 'language skills are at a higher level' than the other skills- the child can speak clearly and understand what's said to him, so he's 'high functioning', even if some of his other skills are at a baby's level.

Let me give you an example.   My friend's 'high functioning' son speaks very clearly, he can express himself, he can understand what others say, but his social skills are NOWHERE near at the same level.  He still gets frustrated easily, he still has a tough time adjusting to a change in routine, and he still can have serious temper tantrums.   It's precisely as if PART of him is high functioning(his pronunciation and understanding of many words) and other parts of him are not.

'High functioning' simply doesn't mean, 'all skills are at the same level'.   He could speak very distinctly, he could do math problems, but he couldn't understand why 'apples' and 'bananas' belong in the same category - fruit.  He couldn't understand categories.   He could tell you what a dollar minus a quarter was, but not how much a bicycle costs, or if it costs more than a pencil.  

You see?   Each child is a unique mixture of different levels of skills.   This is also true of all kids, to be perfectly honest.   But with autistic kids, their skills are at far more different levels.

Our therapist keeps saying she is high functioning as she speak words and phrases but it's more I want..give me ...and she keeps saying I see this...I see that when we are in car.

Well all that is really very good.   She is speaking words and phrases at 3, and even if it's 'I want' it's still good.   And autistic kids often tend to say the same thing over and over 'I see this', etc.   In a way that's kinda comforting for them, and they like to repeat things.

Sometimes it takes time to undertand what they really mean when they say some things.    For example, one of 'my' kids (that I took care of) would often say, 'That's a telephone pole', and it actually meant something was scaring him.   Someone must have said that sentence at a time when something was scaring him.   So to him, that sentence had a special meaning.  

So for your little sweetheart, 'I see a cow' might actually mean, 'we're heading to the same restaurant we were going to when I first saw a cow'.   Or even, 'I remember seeing a cow and then something scaring me'.   We just get to know them, and what the saying means to them.

Too, water may have a special meaning.   It may remind her of a moment when she was really happy, or she may find the reflection on the water to be really exciting, like nothing she has seen before.   It may seem really shiny or glittery.   Sometimes seeing something like that can absolutely delight an autistic child.   One of my friend's boys absolutely LOVED their ceiling fan.   He would stand and watch it for minutes at a time.  Later he learned the word 'pretty' and would point to the fan and say, 'Pretty!'   I think the movement of the blades, which were dark against the light ceiling, really just looked very beautiful to him.   I sat with him one day and said, 'hey, buddy, you're right, that does look really cool'.  

For me, I think it's GREAT your daughter likes water.   She may seem really excessively fascinated with it, or not to sense the possible danger, sure, as many autistic kids do not have much sense of danger.   But it is really good.  If she has something that she really likes, she has something that can serve as a reward and as an encouragement to do something - 'Yes, you can wade in the pool, if you first practice times on the clock'. 

It's AWFULLY hard to teach a child things if they don't have something they view as a desirable object or activity. 

What I'd suggest is that you get her a little low wading pool, and take her out to it and hold her hand and let her play in it.  She can splash, stamp or roll in the water, whatever she likes.   Maybe later, a trip to the little wading pool can be a fun reward for her when she's practiced her ABA or practiced numbers or colors. 

But I feel if she is really high functioning she would not be having this water attraction in first place.

I understand your point, but remember how uneven their abilities can be.   As my BFF used to say, 'I'm a genius with English...but Math - fahget about it!'  That's even more likely to be true with autism.

She would not have these meltdowns if she does not get what she wants , would not be flapping and jumpIn around all day.

I'm sticking with my other statements...


She will yell grunt If she is frustrated, wil try to bite her toe leg of she's mad. All of these don't show me high functioning symptoms...

Still stickin' with it...lol....

and at the same time she can follow directions one step at times two and can tell me of she wants to tax a book...or if she wants to watch something and will say help me on something she can't do.

That is WONDERFUL.  

I want to ask parents of little older kids did ur aspie/ high functioning did have attraction to water as a child and learnt to understand danger? Or its a low functioning trait which will stay forever. I am just too scared as I see all these children drowning in news.

But you see, you can capitalize on autistic children's love of sameness and routine.   Teach a water routine.   She may really hang onto that routine.   'Okay, now first we say, 'Mom can I go in the water'.  Yes, you can go in the water.  OKAY -  let's put our FEET in the water.   Good!   Now let's put our HANDS in the water...GOOD!'   And just have a routine.   The routine doesn't have to include putting your head under water.   Later, when she's older, she may love swimming lessons.   And that might be a way she learns to communicate with and like other adults, and even something she can talk to other kids about.  'Do you like swimming?   I like swimming!'. 

There's bound to be some really excited behavior - jumping and up and down, giggling, even spinning with excitement and grunting.   But that's how these kids really feel - they don't pretend or hide how they feel - it just all comes spilling out, when they like something, they REALLY show it.   I actually like it.   It is a big part of each kid's unique view of the world.

It doesn't really mean they are  low functioning. 

My friend's son was VERY high functioning.   He spoke VERY clearly, did math class in regular school and was doing activities at a 'day school' with other autistic teens. 

My friend was SO proud of him.   She signed him up for a course in 'intensive relationship training'.   He really learned to like other people.   She was SO happy at how things were going.

One day, he asked me out on a 'date'.   I said, 'sure' and I thought, 'how cute is this, his mom is going to be so happy'.   I was also delighted that he was 'so mature'.

But what I didn't realize back then, was that he was mature in some ways but in others, not.

'So', I said, 'What are we going to do on our date?'

He said, 'I can lie down in the yard and you can drag me across the driveway by my feet!'

'Won't I ruin the back of your shirt?'

'Yes! But mom can buy me a new shirt!'.

LOL.

 

 

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