Children with autism should begin swimming lessons before they begin any other kind of therapies to improve their quality of life. This is according to safety experts who have recently stated that autistic children have a risk of meeting with a fatal pool accident that is approximately 150 times higher than for children who do not suffer from autism.
The researchers focused on 32 million accidental or unintentional deaths that occurred between 1999 and 2014, and found that nearly 1,370 people with autism died during this period of time. Overall, according to their research, a person with autism is much more likely to suffer an accidental or unintentional injury causing death. Persons with autism also have a life expectancy of approximately 36, compared with 72 for the general population.
More than 25% of fatalities involving autistic people are the result of injury, and most of these deaths occur as a result of suffocation, drowning or asphyxiation. Not surprisingly, a majority of those fatalities involve children. In fact, suffocation, drowning and asphyxiation account for approximately 80% of all injury-related fatalities involving autistic children.
Drowning is a special risk. Autistic children by nature tend to be drawn to the water which tends to calm them down. Drowning is a much higher risk for autistic children, compared to suffocation and asphyxiation. In comparison, adults with autism are much more likely to die from suffocation or asphyxiation, than drowning.
It must be understood here that autism on its own does not exacerbate the risk of dying in a pool accident. Rather, it is the effects of the disorder, like the tendency to wander among children with autism that increases the risk for these children. The researchers recommend that children with autism, be given swimming lessons as soon as possible, so that these risks can be reduced. Teaching water safety to autistic children is absolutely imperative.