JOPLIN, Mo. — They can be a place where the whole family gathers for fun, or they can become the site of tragedy. And it’s more likely to happen to kids with a particular type of condition.

On hot days and all of them coming in the next few months, who wouldn’t like to jump into this water? But some kids, especially those on the autism spectrum may not realize the risk of doing that.

“You know some kids on the spectrum just really love it because it feels good and so they may just run into the water because they’re super excited about it,” said Edie Spera, Leffen Center Director.

In fact, one study shows that kids on the Autism Spectrum are 160 times more likely to die from drowning. And in some cases, they may even know how to swim, but not in bigger bodies of water.

“But we all know that when you swim in an ocean or you swim in a river or lake, it’s a lot different and so it’s super important at an early age to teach kids these skills in all different environments, take them to the lake, take them to the river so they can experience that,” she said.

And Spera says sometimes spectrum kids will try to get away and seek a place of quiet solitude like water.

“If you’re in a large gathering with people then it’s always a good idea to say hey, you’re watching so and so because over-stimulation sometimes kids will escape from that and so making sure that somebody is keeping an eye on them and responsible for that person,” Spera added.