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How Aquariums Can Help Treat Autism

Raising a child can at times be challenging. Raising a child with autism can be downright stressful if you don’t find ways that help both you and your child manage the high levels of stress encountered with the disorder.

Anything that can help is more than welcome. It was recently discovered aquariums have a big positive effect on all of us and especially with children suffering from autism. Aquariums are beneficial in several ways, here’s how.

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Water Is Calming

Aquariums have a very soothing effect on our psyche because water calms us down.  From the time we are embryos floating in our mother’s womb, it’s the first natural compound we come in contact with. Water fountains like those from Soothing Walls also provide a similar relaxing effect.

Our brains connect water with safety, love and security, so your nervous system gets the impulse to relax and enjoy the calm. Of course, you don’t do this consciously; it’s just the way your body responds. It’s no different for kids with autism.

Looking at water for any period is bound to have a calming effect which automatically reduces or completely negates stress.

Fish Are Safe

There’s nothing worse than a big meltdown by your autistic child – these are just extreme temper tantrums that happen every once in a while. It’s usually hard for the kid to control his or her emotions and reactions.

This can cause a total upheaval in the entire house. If there are pets like cats and dogs, they may start running around, barking or knocking furniture over and making it worse.

They might even scratch or bite your child if they get scared. Fish are different in a way they are safe, and there won’t be a huge reaction to a tantrum.

They might start swimming a bit faster than usual, but there’s no damage they can cause. They will most likely continue as usual, and this will help your kid calm down faster.

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They Are Not Over-Stimulating

Autistic children are very sensitive to sensory stimuli, and they can get overwhelmed very quickly. Fish tanks are usually fun and colorful enough to hold their attention, but they’re not over-stimulating.

The steady hum of the water pump combined with the sound of bubbles can have a soothing effect on your child. The constant movement of fish is interesting. 

At the same time, fish are safe because there’s no unexpected behavior like dogs and cats can exhibit.

There’s no noise or changes in lighting which could provoke your child. It’s like a constant calm area in the house where the kid can retreat to when in need of some peace and quiet.

Aquariums Are Easy To Maintain

It’s important for autistic kids to become confident in being able to perform some tasks independently.

Caring for pet fish is relatively easy – much easier than caring for a pet dog or cat.

They can quickly learn how to do simple tasks – like feeding the fish and even cleaning the fish tank. It can be a lot of fun too.

They can add exciting new aquarium supplies like driftwood, plants, ornaments and colorful gravel. They can also collect rocks and shells to put in the fish tank and so on.

It’s a playground they can be creative with, practice being responsible, practice daily routines and build self-confidence. Aquariums might not be the ultimate answer in treating autism, but the benefits they have on autistic children should not be overlooked.

Give it a try; you’ve got nothing to lose except stress.

About The Author

Emma is a teacher, constantly improving her skills both as a teacher and as a parent. She is passionate about writing and learning new things that can help you to lead a quality life. You can follow her on Twitter @EmmahLawson

Summer’s here! Click to learn six ways to keep your kids healthy and safe.

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