Become an Autism Swim Approved Centre
As you are no doubt aware, teaching swimming to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) requires specialist training, procedures, resources and support.
We are Autism Specialists and accredited swimming instructors who understand the complexities of ASD and the support mechanisms necessary to educate individuals on water safety, equipping them with the necessary skills to be confident and safe in the water.
Unfortunately, drowning is among the leading causes of death in individuals with ASD. Over 90% of total death reports in children with ASD under 14 is a result of accidental drowning. Our aim is to lower these statistics, imparting knowledge on how individuals with ASD acquire skill-sets in a fun and supportive environment.
We are an international, multi-disciplinary organisation, combining the expertise of Autism Specialists, Behaviour Specialists, Occupational Therapists and swimming instructors. Our job is to assist swimming instructors and swim centres to facilitate better outcomes for their swimmers with ASD/cognitive deficit.
How can we help your centre?
- We can provide specialised training and support to your swimming instructors in how to most effectively teach swimming to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and/or cognitive deficit.
- We can approve, list and promote your swim centre as Autism Swim Approved to parents and carers in your local community via a number of platforms.
How do we do this?
- We provide your staff with comprehensive online training (the training can also be held face-to-face at your chosen location).
- We provide you with an extensive set of monthly resources including, but not limited to: lesson plans, program templates, visuals, “what to do when” factsheets and skills focuses.
- We can supply signage and stickers, demonstrating that you are an Autism Swim Approved Centre.
- We provide ongoing support and a consultancy service. For the duration of your Autism Swim Approved certification, you can request advice or further guidance on how best to teach and support your swimmers. Our team comprises Occupational Therapists, Exercise Physiologists, Autism Specialists and Behaviour Specialists, which means you can request advise on a range of areas within the disability sphere.
- We will feature your swim centre and its location on our website as a recommended provider following Autism Swim approval. Our services and approval are promoted extensively across the autism community via social media, newsletters and publicity campaigns.
- We provide your staff with access to a private Facebook group, where they can interact and learn from other Autism Swim Approved Instructors.
What do people say about Autism Swim?
“Well what a difference a day makes after attending your course. We now have a larger than life tool box when it comes to teaching strategies and their effects. My first day back in the water after attending your course was amazing. My classes are now a breeze as the methods you taught us have the same positive effect on the whole class (ASD as well as mainstream), making my sessions much more proactive, positive, powerful, safe and fun”.
Teresa, Swimming Instructor
“The training course I attended was fantastic. You made me understand Autism in a whole new way. Your stories and teaching were outstanding for both use in a swim environment as well as for general personal use. Keep up your knowledge and spreading your enthusiasm as you are a wealth of information. Thank you.”
Natalie, Swimming Instructor
“Words cannot express how fantastic this program has been for our family. Thank you for turning this into a dream come true experience and for all your efforts in teaching water safety, confidence and strength to these beautiful human beings living with ASD. Ayla has overcome her fear of waves and enjoys the water with a new level of confidence she previously didn’t have. We would love to be a part of all future programs like this that you may run!”
Yasmin, mother of child with ASD, participating in nippers program
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s covered in the initial training session?
The initial training session covers Autism Diagnosis, common co-occurring conditions, behaviours of concern, communication, wandering, the relationship between swimming and ASD, sensory difficulties, drownings, child protection and Applied Behaviour Analysis. The monthly resources you receive are very targeted to specific swimming skill-sets, common challenges experienced and different methodologies to use with your swimmers.
What happens if one of my instructor’s leaves?
If one of your AS-Approved Instructors leaves your centre, the accreditation stays with the centre. If the instructor would like to continue on with an Autism Swim membership independently, they will need to register separately as a private instructor and pay the monthly registration fees.
Do we have to use Autism Swim’s program instead of our own?
You’re under no obligation to use all of the resources, ideas, programs etc. that we give you. They are there as a guide and given that they are designed by clinical specialists in ASD, it’s likely they will be of great help to you. If you would prefer however, you can just carry on with your current programs, and use our resources to support and enhance the work that you’re doing. This is up to you.
How does the referral system work?
We have a ‘locations’ tab on our website. Families can enter their postcode to find their closest Autism Swim Approved centre. Alternatively, they contact us via email and we provide them with the necessary details for the centre closest to them. We find that more often than not, the cost of signing up with Autism Swim as a centre is quickly covered by the number of new referrals coming to you.
What do you suggest in terms of class size?
We always recommend 1:1 lessons, as least to begin with. This allows you to target some key individualised goals for the participant. As their skills increase, you may then like to look into part of the lesson being undertaken with another student of similar skill-sets, however this will be dependent on the individual goals of the swimmer. Although we suggest 1:1, as long as your lessons do not exceed 1:3 in ratio, they can still be considered as part of the Autism Swim program.
How can you find out more?
The next step is to email us with your contact details and estimate how many of your instructors could be interested.
We’ll then get back to you with more details, costs and possible time-frames. There is no obligation to proceed until we have discussed the options and confirmed the arrangements that best suit you and your instructors.