Beginner swimming course for mentally retarded children
Dr.Hab., Professor E.A. Raspopova1
Associate Professor O.G. Rysakova2
Postgraduate student N.V. Popovich3
1Russian State University of Physical Education, Sports, Youth and Tourism (SCOLIPE), Moscow
2Russian State Social University, Moscow
3Moscow City Pedagogical University, Moscow
Objective of the study was to develop and test benefits of a beginner swimming course for children with mental retardations. Sampled for the study were the 7 year-olds (n=20) diagnosed with ‘autistic spectrum disorders’ split up into Experimental (EG) and Reference (RG) groups of 10 people each trained in a swimming pool 2 times a week for 3 months. The Reference group was trained as required by the standard training method, with every coach serving 2 children; and the Experimental group was trained by the special training system, also with 2 children per coach, with coachers swimming with children. The similar training systems have been reportedly applied to children with mental retardations albeit exclusively for safety reasons – to prevent accidents with epilepsy-diagnosed children. The new beginner swimming course testing experiment showed its great benefits, particularly expressed in the breath-holding practices combined with recumbent exercises to improve the swimming practice efficiency; whilst the swimming coaching service was found highly favorable for the children with mental retardations.
Keywords: beginner swimming practices, individualized approach, children with mental retardations.
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