This program has been designed with each individual's diverse abilities in mind.
Here at the YMCA, we take pride in supporting individuals with Diverse Abilities. This includes our individualized "Aqua Friends" Adaptive Aquatics Swim Lesson Program.
By enrolling your child in the Aqua Friends program, they will gain life-saving water safety skills and learn to have fun in the water.
Families enrolled in this program will receive individualized care and attention throughout the program. through a personalized intake process, each family will be contacted directly to discuss each child`s needs, goals and expectations for the program. From there, using the YMCA nationally recognized evidence-based swim lessons curriculum the child`s swim instructor will build an individual Swim Plan (ISP) to ensure that each participant reaches their goals.
Throughout the lesson, families will be provided with progress reports, at-home activities and additional recourse to ensure that water safety is a part of everyday conversation and activity.
How does it work?
Each session consists of eight 30 minute lessons. All lessons in the Aqua Friends program are 1-on-1 to ensure we are meeting the needs of each participant in the program. Each participant is able to continue into the advanced Aqua Friends Swim Lessons Program at a slightly higher cost*.
To get started follow the steps below:
- Contact Libby Moon to receive an intake form.
- Once the form is submitted you will be contacted within 1-2 business days from a member of our team who will assist in the intake process.
- Once the intake is complete you will be assigned a YMCA Diverse Abilities Swim Instructor who will work with you to schedule the days/times of your individualized lesson.
- Lessons offered on most days a week at the Peter Blum Family YMCA in Boca Raton or the DeVos-Blum Family YMCA in Boynton Beach.
*Due to the generous support from grants and donations, the YMCA works to ensure these swim lessons are provided to families at a subsidized rate of $30 per session. only 2 sessions per participant at $30.
Benefits of Swim Lessons for individuals with diverse abilities:
- Build muscle and improve overall balance- water activities, including swimming lessons provide excellent low impact physical activity. Participants in the program could see improvements to balance, muscle tone, and motor skills.
- Safety First, Swim Second- Participants in the program will learn safety first. Basic water safety rules are learned and enforced from the first lesson. This includes asking permission before entering the water, only entering the water with an adult, and staying away from the "edge" of the pool until an adult says it`s okay to approach.
- Swim Basics- Children will also learn safety enter and exit the pool using the steps, ladder, sidewall, ADA compliant chairlift or our 0 depth beach entry/exit; however method works for them best. In addition, children will learn to float on their backs, blow bubbles and learn general swimming techniques such as front paddle and flutter kicks. As children progress through the program additional swim strokes may be taught as needed.
- Improved confidence- Learning to swim for anyone has shown to build confidence. When a child with special needs learns to swim a whole new world is open to them. Gain these skills helps lifelong benefits to their social, emotional and physical development.