News

New Partnership With Autism Swim

STA is passionate about teaching swimming to learners of all ages and abilities, and equipping teachers with the specialist skills they require; the team are therefore delighted to welcome an exclusive new partnership with Autism Swim.

Autism Swim is an international social enterprise that specialises in wandering and drowning prevention teaching for those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other abilities.

Autism is a part of daily life for 2.8 million people and its likely there may be a learner in your swimming class who has this disorder.

Teaching swimming to individuals with ASD requires specialist training, procedures, resources and support, and STA is partnering with Autism Swim as its exclusive aquatics certification associate to provide STA members the opportunity to access their specialist autism training packages at a discounted rate and for swim schools to become ‘Autism Swim Approved.’

Autism Swim’s certification packages have been developed combining the expertise of autism specialists, behaviour specialists, occupational therapists and swimming instructors, and will give teachers the knowledge, skills, resources and confidence needed, to most effectively teach swimmers who need extra support in the water—in addition to being able to provide effective advice to parents/carers.

Zoe Cooper, STA’s Sales and Marketing Director said: Autism Swim is widely recognised as the world leader in wandering and drowning prevention for those with ASD/cognitive deficit. This partnership aligns with our charitable objective—the preservation of human life by the teaching of swimming, lifesaving and survival techniques—and will give our members the opportunity to access specialist training directly from the experts in this field.

The latest statistics* in the UK show that around 700,000 adults and children have autism—that’s more than 1 in 100. If you include their families, autism is a part of daily life for 2.8 million people and its likely there may be a learner in your swimming class who has this disorder. Being aware of their needs and knowing how to communicate with these learners is so important. It will not only benefit the individual, but the whole class too.

The initial training covers a range of foundational topics, including but not limited to: ASD diagnosis, teaching methodologies, communication (both receptive and expressive), sensory difficulties, drowning education, child protection, autism and the water, wandering, behaviours of concern and comorbidity. This is all accompanied by monthly resources and ongoing support from the Autism Swim team. Additionally, all Autism Swim approved providers will be listed on Autism Swim’s online marketplace, where parents can search for their closest Autism Swim approved centre or instructor (a referral pathway). Members will then have the opportunity to access more advanced training and resources after the first 12 months.

Being aware of their needs and knowing how to communicate with these learners is so important. It will not only benefit the individual, but the whole class too.

As part of the partnership, Autism Swim is offering STA members a 15% discount off its Swim Centre and Swim Instructor training packages—an additional 5% will be applied if monthly membership fees are paid up front, offering members a total discount of 20%. To take advantage of this offer with Autism Swim, confirm your STA membership to enable the discount to be automatically applied.

The news of the partnership also coincides with Autism Swim launching the first ever industry report on drowning/aquatics and autism.

Autism Swim was established in 2016 by Founder and Clinical Director Erika Gleeson (G.C Autism, B.A Behavioural Science). Erika is a senior behaviour and skill development specialist in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and cognitive deficit; and is widely recognised as the leading expert in wandering and drowning prevention for those with ASD/cognitive deficit. For further information, please visit Autism Swim’s website.

Erika said: We are so thrilled to be partnering with STA on this area of such huge importance. We will now have the opportunity to assist so many more swimmers with other abilities across the UK to receive the support they need to thrive and survive in the water. Swimming instructors are our most valuable asset to teach these swimmers, and equipping them with the knowledge, resources and skills to most effectively teach to this wonderful population group will ensure those horrifying (and preventable) drowning statistics decrease, but most importantly, that everyone has the same opportunities to participate and learn in a way that is most conducive to their needs. We are so grateful for STA making inclusion such a high priority.

* Statistics obtained from the National Autistic Society
(www.autism.org.uk/about/what-is/myths-facts-stats)

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