- What Is Swim Whisperers®?
- Who Should Consider Swim Whisperers?
- Why Consider Swim Whisperers For My Child?
- Is My Child Ready? Or Does He/She Need Therapy First?
- When and Where Does Angelfish Offer Swim Whisperers?
- How Much Do Lessons Cost? How Do I Sign My Child Up?
- Can I Learn To Teach Swimming Like the Swim Whisperers?
What is Swim Whisperers®?
Swim Whisperers is Angelfish Therapy’s swim instruction program aimed at all kinds of children, but particularly those who might experience limited or no success learning to swim through traditional methods. In short, the goal of Swim Whisperers is to turn any child into a confident and independent swimmer, no matter what their situation or condition is.
Who Should Consider Swim Whisperers?
The Swim Whisperers program was specially designed to cater to children with severe to mild sensory issues, problems with motor skills, difficulty processing information, attention issues, or any other condition that might physically or psychologically impede the process of learning to swim. In some cases, the obstacle may be something as simple as a child who is unwilling to put their head under water, or who is terrified to let go of the side of the pool.
Why Consider Swim Whisperers?
Every child should be an independent swimmer. Besides the obvious physical fitness and social benefits that swimming provides, there are issues of water safety. According to the Red Cross: “About 3,500 Americans drown each year, averaging ten deaths per day. More than one in five fatal drowning victims are children 14 and younger.” What’s more, drowning has been identified as a leading cause of accidental death for children and adults with Autism.
Despite these sobering statistics, too many children are never taught to swim. In some cases, this is because the process of teaching children with sensory or motor issues is simply too difficult for most instructors to handle.
The Swim Whisperers program was created by Ailene Tisser and Cindy Freedman, based on their more than 20 years of physical/occupational therapy experience — half of that time specializing as aquatic therapists. After years of watching parents, caregivers, and swim instructors search for someone in their community who could go beyond aquatic therapy and teach their child to swim, they decided to tackle it themselves by combining their therapy experience to tease out the major sensory issues that interfere with acquisition of basic swim skills.
With Swim Whisperers, Ailene and Cindy have specially trained instructors to help your child overcome the most common obstacles encountered by those with a wide range of sensory processing and motor coordination issues.
Is My Child Ready? Or Does He/She Need Therapy First?
We have found that not every child is ready for Swim Whisperers right away.
If your child has already experienced difficulty learning through traditional methods, there might be an underlying therapeutic reason for that. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your child has a sensory, motor, or neurological disability — only that for whatever reason, they experience anxiety, difficulty with coordination, and/or overall discomfort when they are in the water, which impedes the swim learning process.
If you think this might apply to your child, then it may be worthwhile to let one of our therapists evaluate him/her before getting started. Often, we find that short-term aquatic therapy — even just a few sessions — can help them fast-forward past a dozen swim lessons and begin to see fast results.
At this point, a Swim Whisperers instructor can then work closely with the therapist to establish realistic and productive swim goals moving forward. This not only saves your child time and stress, but also saves you money in the long run.
CLICK HERE to read a case study for Riley, a client of ours who saw amazing results from this kind of short-term aquatic therapy.
If you’d like to consider short-term therapy for your child, just check the “EITHER Aquatic Therapy OR Swim Lessons” box at the top of the registration form and make a note of it in the comments section. When our scheduling person contacts you, they’ll discuss your child’s options.
When and Where Does Angelfish Offer Swim Whisperers?
Swim Whisperers classes are currently available in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey … and we’ll be starting up in Massachusetts in the fall.
VISIT THE POOLS PAGE to see the days and pools when/where we currently have swim instructor coverage.
If you haven’t already, please contact us to check on time availability, to make specific arrangements with an instructor, or to let us know if you need to make scheduling arrangements for days/times that aren’t listed.
How Much Do Lessons Cost? How Do I Sign My Child Up?
Sessions are 30 minutes long, and the cost is as follows:
- $50 for a private session
- $40 for a semi-private session
- $35 for a group of three or four
All sessions will be billed at the end of the month, and payable within 30 days. Stay tuned to the website or sign up for the newsletter to learn about occasional special discounts.
Due to the overwhelming number of children on our wait list, we require 24 hours notice for any session cancellation. Failure to provide 24 hours notice could result in you being charged for the cost of the session, unless we’re able to fill the slot at the last minute. To cancel, please contact the instructor directly (and leave a message if necessary). As a last resort, you can also leave a message with the office at 203-545-0024.
Can I Learn To Teach Swimming Like The Swim Whisperers?
Absolutely! If you’re a swim instructor who sometimes works with children who have sensory processing or motor coordination difficulties — or would like to — then Swim Whisperers is the program you’ve been waiting for. With more than one percent of children diagnosed with autism in the U.S., it is more imperative than ever that swim instructors expand their skill set to accommodate this ever-growing population.
Likewise, if you are the parent or caregiver of a child with these same issues, then you know how daunting and frustrating the process of teaching that child to swim can be.
That’s why we at Angelfish Therapy have devised a system of swim training that can help anyone educate themselves to address the specific issues most commonly seen in children with sensory or motor difficulties.
We’ve recently launched a Swim Whisperers DVD + Study Guide product that will give you — the parent or instructor — the tools you need to help your child or student become a confident and independent swimmer, by reducing the time and effort it takes that child to begin to swim, play, and enjoy the water as a leisure experience.
In addition, Angelfish Training sometimes offers day-long workshops to to anybody interested in hands-on training from our experienced therapists, Cindy Freedman and Ailene Tisser, about Swim Whisperers methods. Sign up for the mailing list to be contacted about when these workshops will take place next.
Want hands-on training, but can’t make to one of our workshops? If you’re a swim school with multiple instructors, then Cindy and Ailene are prepared to bring Swim Whisperers to your town for a special training workshop that caters to your specific needs. Just reach out to us at AngelfishTherapy@gmail.com for more information.