Open Access
BIO Web Conf.
Volume 29, 2021
International Conference “Sport and Healthy Lifestyle Culture in the XXI Century” (SPORT LIFE XXI)
Article Number 01005
Number of page(s) 4
Published online 15 March 2021

© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2021

Licence Creative CommonsThis is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

1 Introduction

A disorder that occurs as a result of impaired brain development and is characterized by a pronounced and comprehensive lack of social interaction and communication, as well as limited interests and repetitive actions, is considered to be an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) [5]. Brain disorder leads to communication difficulties and obsessions, but does not affect intelligence and learning ability [11].

Swimming classes play an important role in improving the quality of life and activity of a child with autism. Classes in the pool help to restore the disturbed or limited motor functions of the child’s body [2, 4, 9]. In swimming classes, a child with an autism spectrum disorder can learn to consciously control their body, develop muscle strength, agility, and improve their sense of balance and coordination of movements [3, 6].

To date, the autism spectrum disorder remains poorly understood [7, 8, 10], which does not allow us to properly consider the variety of means and methods of teaching swimming to children with this disease. As a rule, trainers use the same initial training for children with autism as for conditionally healthy children [1]. This fact predetermined the present study.

The aim of the study is to study the peculiarities of teaching swimming to children of primary school age with autism spectrum disorder.

2 Materials and methods

The study was conducted on the basis of the sports complex “Burevestnik” in Kazan. According to the test results on a scale measure the degree of autism for “Asperger’s” was formed by a group of boys 9-10 years. In four children, the degree of autism is not expressed and moderately pronounced, in one child-a severe form of autism. At the time of the examination, the children did not know how to swim. Classes on the water were held for six months 3 times a week for 40 minutes.

Swimming fitness was evaluated according to the indicators proposed by T. I. Osokina:

1) immersion in water with exhalation in water, 2) sliding on the chest with the movement of the legs, 3) sliding on the chest with the movement of the legs and performing proper breathing (25-meter segment without stopping).

Mathematical and statistical processing of the obtained material was carried out on a personal computer using the Attestat software package using generally accepted methods of variation statistics.

3 Results and discussion

It is known that children with ASD have an inadequate strong reaction to sensory stimuli, such as tactile contact with unfamiliar objects or textures [9, 12]. Therefore, the inventory that is used in the classroom (its shape, color and size) is of great importance. In this regard, the swimming classes used the boards developed by us with an associative character: a fish with bubbles, a whale with a fountain, a dolphin, a frog, a turtle, a rocket (the size of the board for swimming remained standard, 32x25cm). For example, the “Bubble Fish” swimming board was used to teach proper breathing (inhaling through the mouth, exhaling through the nose). The child lowered his face into the water and exhaled, i.e. created bubbles like in the drawing of a fish.

Swimming fitness was evaluated twice, at the beginning and end of the study. To perform the control exercise, children with ASD were given one attempt, as practice has shown that the results of subsequent attempts are usually worse. The second attempt was granted only if the first attempt failed. The results are presented in Table 1.

At the beginning of the experiment, the children with ASD did not know how to swim and, accordingly, no child coped with the control task. At the end of six months of classes, all children with ASD have mastered swimming training according to the indicators: 1) immersion in water with exhalation in water, 2) sliding on the chest with the movement of the legs, 3) sliding on the chest with the movement of the legs and performing proper breathing. In accordance with the rating scale for T. I. Osokina’s children with ASD demonstrated an average level of swimming fitness, their average group indicator was 5.4+0.4, and the differences in the indicators before and after the experiment reached statistically significant differences.

A post-experimental survey of parents of children with autism spectrum disorder revealed that the children became less ill, the children’s muscular corsets became much stronger, they did not have sluggish movements, the children looked more coordinated and had much better control of their bodies.

Table 1.

Swimming fitness of primary school-age children with autism spectrum disorder in the study.

4 Conclusion

In swimming, one of the most common supporting devices is a board. From the first lesson, the coach uses swimming boards, which usually have a traditional shape and color from the manufacturer. But, when teaching swimming to children with ASD, it is necessary to achieve positive associations and mental images for the successful development of a new exercise. Therefore, when teaching swimming to children with autism spectrum disorder, it is recommended to use boards with an associative character.


  • Ilyin V. A. Features of teaching swimming to children with autism / V. A. Ilyin, A.V. Ilyin // Modern aspects of physical culture, sports and psychological and pedagogical work with students: materials of the correspondence scientific and practical conference with international participation. Penza State University-2017. pp. 57-60. [Google Scholar]
  • Martynova O. G. Graphic justification of adaptive physical culture as a technology of rehabilitation of children with autistic spectrum disorders / O. G. Martynova, E. H. Valishin // Young scientist. 2017. No. 4. p. 337-342. [Google Scholar]
  • Udovichenko I. A. Health-improving swimming for children of primary school age with autism / I. A. Udovichenko, E. G. Kokoreva // Physical culture and sport: science, education, technologies: materials of the All-Russian scientific and practical conference of undergraduates. Ural State University of Physical Culture. 2019. p. 378-381. [Google Scholar]
  • Fomicheva E. N. The possibilities of swimming in the rehabilitation of school-age children with autistic spectrum disorder / E. N. Fomicheva, K. D. Valyaev // National Association of Scientists. 2015. No. 6. pp. 66-69. [Google Scholar]
  • Tsekalo G. A. Psychological features of children with early childhood autism / G. A. Tsekalo, D. V. Turtseva // Proceedings of young scientists of the Altai State University. -2015. – No. 10. pp. 386-387. [Google Scholar]
  • Chernomor A.V. Positive influence of classes in the pool for children with ASD / A.V. Chernomor // Physical education and sport in higher educational institutions: a collection of articles of the XV International Conference dedicated to the 65th anniversary of BSTU named after V. G. Shukhov. Belgorod State National Research University. – 2019-p. 204-207. [Google Scholar]
  • Art Dowdy, Matt Tincani (2019) Assessment and treatment of high‐risk challenging behavior of adolescents with autism in an aquatic setting. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 45. [Google Scholar]
  • Andrew M. Colombo-Dougovito, Martin E. Block (2019) Fundamental Motor Skill Interventions for Children and Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum: a Literature Review. Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 6:2, pp. 159–171. [Google Scholar]
  • Nason V. (2016) Core Challenges in Autism. Sensory aspects of autism. Continuation // Autism and Developmental Disorders (Russia). Vol. 14. №. 3(52). pp. 42–48. doi:10.17759/autdd.2016140304 [Google Scholar]
  • Mohamed S. E. (2017) Effect of Aquatic Exercises Approach (Halliwick-Therapy) on Motor Skills for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders // Ovidius University Annals, Series Physical Education and Sport Science, Movement and Health. Vol. 17. №. 2. pp. 20–27. [Google Scholar]
  • Fred R. Volkmar, Brian Reichow, James C. McPartlan (2016) Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Springer. pp. 337. [Google Scholar]
  • Righi G. et al. Predictors of inpatient psychiatric hospitalization for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder // Journal of autism and developmental disorders. 2018. Vol. 48. no. 11. pp. 3647-3657. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

All Tables

Table 1.

Swimming fitness of primary school-age children with autism spectrum disorder in the study.

Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.

Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.

Initial download of the metrics may take a while.