Special Needs and Swimming: A Special Way to Increase Socialization

Are you looking for a sport to enroll your child with special needs in? Try swimming!

Swimming offers an opportunity for children with special needs to actively participate in learning a sport – and our instructors at Goldfish Swim School use integrity, compassion and trust (along with a few other tools and techniques) to teach children with special needs how to swim.

Sure, swimming teaches valuable physical skills, including:

  • Gross motor skills
  • Cognitive skills
  • Muscle strength
  • Endurance
  • Water safety

But sometimes even more importantly, swimming teaches children necessary life skills in a fun environment (thanks to our incorporation of the Science of SwimPlay®!). And swimming provides a special way to increase socialization little by little. Here's how:


Children are understandably afraid of things they don't know, and for children with special needs, there can be added complexities. The ability to push through and participate in something even while being scared is the very definition of courage – and once your child discovers their own courage, through mastering a swimming skill that once seemed scary, you'll all celebrate!


When that said skill is mastered (and your child has the award ribbon to prove it!), the confidence beaming from within will show you just some of the extraordinary results swimming brings. And that feeling of accomplishment will bleed into other areas of life as well.


The understanding of trusting the person leading you, even when you're scared and unsure of what you're doing, is monumental for children (and adults). This trust gained while swimming makes it easier to comprehend that children and adults in other situations can be trusted as well.


Even if your child is nonverbal, there are plenty of ways to communicate and connect while swimming – with no pressure. The back-and-forth of hearing and then following directions provides instinctual communication and feedback and has your child interacting in a big way! (Check out Amanda's story of how her sons – who are on the autism spectrum – benefitted from their swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School!)


Being in the water provides relaxation for many people. For children who have ADHD, and others with special needs, swimming at Goldfish Swim School provides a way to be centered and calm. This can mean being more apt to be open to new activities and possibilities.


With all these building blocks of socialization being cemented, you'll soon start to see friendships happen naturally. With fellow swimmers, instructors, supervisors and family there to cheer. It's easier to socialize over a shared interest and common goal, especially when you have a GOLDEN experience here with us!

Enroll at Goldfish Swim School

Stop by a Goldfish Swim School location near you and you'll see our WOW! customer service for yourself – plus our vibrant atmosphere, 90-degree pool water, and other amenities that make us a fin above the rest. Enroll your child in swimming lessons today!

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