Autism Speaks foundation stresses importance of water safety for children

Summer break has officially started for many students, and that means the swimming pools are going to be busy.

Eileen Lamb, a mother of two children with autism, is reminding everyone of the importance of pool safety.

"Unfortunately, drowning is the number one cause of accidental deaths in autistic children. So it's very important to supervise your child at the pool," says Eileen Lamb, director of social media for Autism Speaks.

To avoid being part of a statistic, Lamb is advocating for pools to be inclusive for people with autism.

"My son, who is 11, and his level three autism, also known as severe autism, took swimming lessons. Because, like I said, it's so important that he learns to swim. But it's been difficult because a lot of people are not prepared to handle some of these challenging behaviors," says Lamb.

Lamb is hoping by sharing Charlie's story, it will educate the community that not all autistic children are the same.

"I think it's important for children to also know that some children show their happiness in different ways and to not be afraid of them and, to respect those, different forms of expression," says Lamb.


According to the Autism Speaks foundation, it is important to start teaching children with autism the importance of water safety at an early age.

"If you're able to, put them into swimming lessons early. Find a place that is actually inclusive and, try social stories and pictures to teach your child how to swim as early as possible," says Lamb.

And never swim alone.

"It's always good for children who are able to keep an eye on their friends and kids around them. If a child looks in an unsafe position, get help from a grown up," says Lamb.

For more information on water safety by Autism Speaks, click here.