You may be wondering: Can my special needs child take swimming lessons? In short, YES!
If your child has special needs (including Down syndrome, autism, sensory issues, ADHD, issues with motor skills or other concerns), you can certainly enroll him or her in swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School!
We have swimmers with special needs at all of our locations, and we teach kids of ALL abilities — ages 4 months and older (yep, even babies younger than 1 can learn to swim!). One bonus of swimming at Goldfish Swim School? Our pools are always a warm 90 degrees!
Swimming is an important life-saving skill and has many benefits — including helping to prevent drowning (which is among the leading cause of death of kids with autism, so be sure to Learn to Recognize the Signs of Drowning and help keep your swimmer safe!).
Here are the 9 Ways Goldfish Swim School Helps Kids with Special Needs Learn to Swim
1. A Splash Book
Sometimes, it’s easier for kids to see what they are supposed to learn instead of hearing the instructor explain it. For that reason, we have created a “splash book” for your child to use if the visual support would be helpful. For each class, the splash book contains pictures of each skill. (Just part of our WOW! customer service!)
2. Squeeze Balls
For kids with autism or sensory issues, an ordinary swim class — or any other type of group lesson — can be overwhelming. We offer what we call squeeze balls, similar to what is used in many classrooms. That way, when it’s not your child’s turn to swim, he or she can focus on using the squeeze ball to aid in concentration.
3. Special Needs Toolbox
Our Goldfish Swim School curriculum is something has proven success with our swimmers — and special needs students benefit from that consistency. But sometimes, swimmers with special needs may need things done differently, which is when we pull out our figurative special needs toolbox. We’ll slow down in class when we need to, break down the curriculum and adjust it to help your child have a GOLDEN experience.
4. Streamlined Classes
It can be difficult for parents of special needs kids to find recreational activities that focus on the child’s ability rather than disability. Our goal at Goldfish Swim School is to NOT isolate kids, which is why we streamline kids who have special needs as much as possible — because all kids should know how to do these five things in the water.
5. Parent Info Sheet
For a parent of a child with special needs, registration at Goldfish Swim School has one added benefit: A parent informational sheet. We’ll ask you to fill out information about your child — including what works and what doesn’t work when interacting with him or her. Our instructors use integrity, compassion and trust with each and every swimmer, and your child’s instructor will go over this informational sheet to learn more about your child to learn how to produce those extraordinary results!
6. Special Goals Progress Report
We hand out progress reports quarterly for parents to gauge the progress of their children, and parents of special needs kids have a goal-oriented progress report. This allows parents to write down their goals for their child: Whether it is coming to class without crying, learning to sit on the turtle or another skill.
7. Patience and Understanding.
We care about children. We know that not every child learns the same way, so we’re patient and understanding with ALL of our swimmers. Swimming is an ideal activity for kids, especially those with special needs, because it can also showcase hidden abilities and talents. We focus on positivity and celebrate accomplishments big and small!
Sometimes kids get sick, or you go on vacation — or it’s just one of those days where leaving the home is not going to happen. That’s OK: We offer 12 make-up classes per year so you don’t have to become frustrated about the possibility of missing a swimming lesson. Just give us a call to let us know your child won’t be in class and you can schedule a make-up class for a different time.
9. Small Class Sizes
At most, your child’s class will have four kids in it. That’s it. This means your child is able to receive individualized attention and not be overwhelmed by a bunch of other kids in the class. Plus, this helps kids improve social skills and have fun while learning a life-saving skill!
Goldfish Swim School
Have questions or want to learn more? Find a location near you and give us a call today!