What is the Angelfish Learn to Swim Program




 What is the Angelfish Learn to Swim Program



The Angelfish Learn to Swim Program was developed to provide a supportive pathway to participation in our ‘mainstream’ program. The current demand-supply discrepancy for disability services in the Northern Suburbs is significant. As such, the Angelfish Program is a specially designed, one-on-one Learn to Swim course, for children with Autism Spectrum or who as a result of a disability, may need extra support. Here, children learn the basics of swimming in order to integrate into a mainstream swimming class. The program encourages children to feel comfortable, safe and empowered in an aquatic environment. Key skills taught during the program include water familiarization, safety, mobility, strength, stroke development and social skills. Many of the teaching principles used are derived from Applied Behavioral Analysis.


What is Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA)?

 Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) is a behavior modification technique, typically used as part of early intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Currently, it is the only early intervention technique with sufficient evidence-based support.


Why create a specialized Learn to Swim program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is among the most commonly occurring developmental disorders amid children with a disability in Australia (Randall et al., 2016). In recent years, prevalence estimates specifically in Australia have drastically increased, most likely representing a broadening of the criteria, increased awareness, understanding and availability of ASD services (Kopetz & Endowed, 2012; Elsabbagh, et al., 2012). An increased awareness has lead to a drive to understand the symptomology of individuals with the disorder and how to most effectively provide intervention. Generally the aim of Autism Spectrum Disorder interventions is to simplify and focus the child’s learning environment. Currently, a variety of intervention programs exist which target different skills such as social reciprocity, eye contact, play, imitation, communication and emotional regulation.

Additionally, a variety of aquatic programs currently exist to improve physical strength and gross motor functioning. These programs traditionally target physical issues and are focused on strength, mobility and gross motor improvement and are run by physiotherapists and occupational therapists. However, to date there is a lack of structured programs that apply evidenced-based learning and psychological principles and practices that provide the foundations of swimming technique and safety skills in an aquatic environment.  As such, the purpose of the Angelfish Learn to Swim program is to provide an interdisciplinary structured learn to swim course.


To find out more about our program head to www.parafieldgardensswimschool.com.au or call us on 82853666.


By Jaimi A’Court

















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