Swim Lessons For All: School Teaches Children with Special Needs

Posted at 6:00 AM, Aug 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-20 16:48:11-04

Almost a dozen families are calling the Michael Phelps Swim School in Getzville a life-saver. Literally.

The school’s banner reads, “A learn to swim program for all ages and abilities.”

It lives up to that, too.

The adaptive swim program at the school offers classes specifically for children with “unique learning needs”.

“It’s a major safety issue. They see that open body of water, and they just want to go, and all of a sudden we have a situation on our hands,” said Andrew Ayers. He’s an instructor at the school.

Children with autism or other learning needs are especially at risk around water, and teaching them to swim is imperative.

“It’s a life skill, it’s a safety skill, and it’s something that everybody needs to be very much aware of.”

A parent with a swimmer at the school spoke with 7 ABC.

She said she’s seen a difference in her child at home after one-on-one instruction at the school.

“It definitely gives him more confidence, it feels just kind of like he fits in with the other kids that are kind of learning how to swim,” she said.

There are only about 8 families participating now, but there is still room to register.

According to the school's website the classes cost $145 per student, per month

Instructors will spend as much time as necessary on the phone to answer any questions.

Also, there are many trainers certified through Pathfinders for Autism, so your child will be placed with the person that best suits their personality and needs.

“It’s nice to see that they offer programs for parents that have kids that maybe just need a little bit more help and it doesn’t make them feel that they’re different.”