Adaptive Aquatics is individual swimming lessons that adapt the aquatic environment to meet the needs of children with special needs. The goals are to teach water safety and recreational swimming skills to the best of the individual’s ability. Certified instructors develop a personalized program based on the Red Cross Learn-to-Swim program, as well as therapy, educational, and physical fitness goals. Children get an opportunity for success, boosting confidence for other areas of their lives. Often children who have difficulty physically or socially playing with other children can be on very equal terms in the water. Adults with special needs are welcome in Adaptive Aquatics, too!
Instructors use specialized aquatics equipment and teaching tools for children with a variety of special needs. This allows the student to:
- overcome fear of the water
- have an opportunity to be independent in the water
- feel the freedom of being in water
- succeed in all levels of swimming
- experience relief from pain and muscle spasms
- increase strength and balance
- improve dexterity and fine motor skills
Student Goal Development
Goals are individualized for each child using input from parents, physical therapists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, doctors, teachers, school district personnel and often the child him or herself. Instructors encourage the students to accomplish their goals using Applied Behavior Analysis.
Social skills are emphasized, including peer interaction, games, communication skills, and taking turns. Parents and siblings are welcome to come into the pool during lessons.
Cost for Adaptive Aquatics sessions
- $30 per half-hour
- 30-minute sessions once or twice a week
- 60-minute sessions once a week
Adaptive Aquatics has three possible sources of financial assistance
- Family Support Network
- LifeScape Scholarships - Scholarship Application
- School Districts (IEP) at school’s discretion.
Lessons are held in the lower level of LifeScape, 2501 W. 26th Street in Sioux Falls. The swimming pool is 28’ wide and 64’ long. The depth ranges from two feet to nine feet. The water temperature is kept between 94 & 96 degrees.