Meet our Team from this summer!

Meet our team! This past summer we had a variety of occupational therapy students help out with our 10-week AquOTic program. Our team’s background and passion for the field of occupational therapy has contributed to the success of this AquOTic program. The members of our team included…

  • Undergraduate students pursuing occupational therapy
  • Current OTD students
  • One student pursuing her PHD
  • Dr. Erika Kemp (founder of the AquOTic program)

AquOTic picture

How does our AquOTic program differ from other adaptive swimming programs?

Our team has carefully developed an innovative occupational therapy (OT) based aquatic program “AquOTic” for children with ASD. This program uses a variety of OT approaches and techniques to help improve both water safety skills and basic swim skills. This unique program differs greatly from other existing adaptive swimming programs in many ways.

Listed below are some examples of how AquOTic differs from other adaptive swimming programs:

Finding Adaptive Swimming Lessons

A quick and easy guide for parents and caregivers of children with disabilities. 

Are you looking for adaptive swimming lessons that are appropriate for your child? Listed below are some tips & tricks to find a learn-to-swim program that works for your family!

  1. Word of Mouth
    • Other parents, online groups, support groups, or diagnosis-specific organizations.
  2. Community Centers 
    • Rec centers, YMCAs, swim schools, parks and recreation departments, school and pools.
  3. Professionals
    • Pediatricians, intervention specialists, early intervention specialists, occupational or physical therapists, adaptive P. E. teachers.

Ask Your Network

Take advantage of the knowledge that could be in your community. Start by asking around your network about swim lessons in your community and if there are funding sources available. Ask your county’s Developmental Disabilities agency if there are funds available through Medicaid waivers, country grants/funds, etc. Your case manager, service coordinator, early intervention specialist, or intervention specialist may be able to help.

Questions to Ask

Once you find an instructor/facility, ask specific questions to get the full picture ahead of time. Some questions that you may want to consider asking include:

  1. When are the lessons offered? How long is a lesson? How many weeks/months long in a session?
  2. Has the instructor received disability/behavior-specific training?
  3. What are the accessibility features of the pool? Is there a chair lift? Is the pool zero entry? Is the pool heated?
  4. Are there private/family changing rooms, or adult changing tables?
  5. Is my child cleared to be in the water? Do they need to be toilet trained? Have they been cleared by their doctor?
  6. Is it a group lesson? How many children will be in the water? What is the ratio of swim instructors to children? Will a parent be in the water with their child?
  7. Is the swim curriculum flexible? Can it be modified for parent-directed goals or the child’s abilities?

T4CIP developed this document in collaboration with: Marilyn Bull, MD, FAAP and Erika Kemp, OTD, OTR/L, BCP.