Synchronized Swimming: An answer to Autism
Man is known to be a social animal, but there are large strata of society which is having issues and challenges to be a part of this social sphere. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a disorder commonly known as Autism to the lay man has approximately 15% of children in its grasp across the world. Approximately 1 child in 68, and 1 in every 42 boy is suffering from this ailment, a figure which in no way can be taken lightly. Often in the developing countries, autism is an ailment which is hardly identified. Either it is ignored, or taken lightly, but in reality, the children suffering from autism need special care and attention to flourish. Facing difficulties to communicate their feelings, or even to react to particular situations and stressful conditions, these children suffering from autism are considered disabled, or mentally challenge, but contrary to this, they are differently abled.
As a neurodevelopmental disorder which harbours impaired verbal and non-verbal communication, social interaction and restricted & repetitive behaviour difficulties in social interaction and communication, often accompanied by repetitive, restricted interests, and behaviours (Source: Wikipedia and American Psychiatric Association, 1994), it becomes increasingly challenging fir these children to cope up and recover through this ailment, as the problem is hardwired in their neuro-system. The level of physical fitness in the autistic children is deplorable, as the overall inability to cope up with the affected changes does not permit them to engage in physical activities, putting their well-being in peril. Scientists, paediatricians and Psychiatrics have been searching for methods and techniques to have them occupied and to make them a part of social and physical activities to improve their fundamental and quintessential skills their wellbeing, and thankfully though, they found a social.
The recent research performed by a group of scientists have paved a way to bypass this social and psychological gap, by introducing swimming lessons as the connecting bridge between the society and these special children. A 14 week exercise, it involved a participation of 16 male children. One half of the group were given their normal routine treatments, while the rest were given swimming instructions and exercises along with their routine treatment. The children were asked to be graded and analysed by their primary school instructors; undoubtedly the results of the activity were enthralling.
The children who are considered hyperactive showed a very temperamental attitude towards the whole routine. From improvement in their swimming skills to the overall increase in the social interaction from the children of god, the kids managed to sustain all these qualities even after the completion of the whole program. In comparison to the other group, the swimming kids had a visibly improved behaviour and an optimistic approach, thereby making them better for good.
The test, however does not mean that you should feel free to toss autistic kids around in any arbitrary unfamiliar swimming condition and expect them to miraculously rise and shine, the exercise are needed to be performed in a familiar and welcoming setting for the kids, and one must prioritize safety and security of the kids, for they are susceptible to colossal damage during this fitness regime. Though the research could not take into account the degree of severity of their condition and the test is not a perfectly universal answer to all the existing problems and queries which we have against autism, it is a significant step for us to know for sure, that the children from autism can improve if engaged in similar physical social activities, in the presence and able guidance of their caretakers. For a greater good, this research gave us something worth a shot to try out.