Children with special needs are benefiting from a boutique early years swim school that customises learn-to-swim lessons and personalises its service to create a safe learning haven for its young students.
JUMP! Swim Schools Hackham franchisee Sharyn Loller says she works with parents to ensure swimming lessons are never “too hard” and turns no child away in a bid to ensure every child has the opportunity to swimming lessons as a vital life skill.
“Every child should have the opportunity to learn to swim and during my 26 years of being a qualified instructor I have seen many miracles occur in the pool,” she said.
JUMP! Swim Schools Hackham has quickly become popular for children with special needs, most notably those with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
With far less distractions than larger centres and a program that encourages praise and progress, along with very patient and caring instructors, it is the ideal environment for those children who are easily distracted, have sensory issues or just need that extra bit of attention.
“We have not turned anyone away. Our approach for our students who potentially require extra attention is to offer a one-on-one trial lesson after which we decide whether to try a group class or continue with a private lesson with the intention of eventually integrating the child into a mainstream class.
Some families have now been fortunate enough to gain funding for their lessons through the National Disability Insurance Scheme, a trend which we hope will continue.”
The service led to JUMP! Swim Schools named inaugural winner of the Australian Swim Schools Association Inclusive Swimming Award for comprehensively embracing the Inclusive Swimming message for the benefit of customers, the community and the swim school.
The award was presented last night at the ASSA Awards Dinner, held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Mrs Loller said it was an honour to receive the inaugural award, just as it was to receive heart warming words and encouraging feedback from parents whose children are benefiting from her service.
A mother with two children learning to swim at JUMP! wrote:
“Our son is autistic and has traditionally found swimming lessons difficult due to the sensory nature and group environment. Sharyn and her team have worked hard with us to accommodate his unique needs so that he can make the most of his time in the pool. We are thankful to have found a swimming school that is willing to think outside the box and look at each student as an individual. I think there is a big market for swimming lessons with the positive and gentle approach the JUMP! model offers. I hope more families find you so they don’t feel like swimming lessons are ‘too hard’.”
JUMP! Swim School’s Hackham offers a discount for private lesson fees, as it acknowledges that some parents have an increased financial commitment with therapies and treatments for their children.
JUMP! Swim Schools started in Grafton in 2010 and is now a Queensland-based company that has garnered a reputation for delivering tailored early years swim instruction in a highly personalised, safe and calm environment to foster confidence in children.
The multi award-winning company is rapidly expanding across Australia and has almost 30 sites in operation with another 50 scheduled to open in the coming six months.
JUMP! instructors are expert in teaching babies from three months of age and just two classes are run simultaneously, numbers are capped at four per class and the competency-based program focuses on the joy of participation and parental engagement in a fun and hygienic environment.
“The JUMP! Swim Schools curriculum is a breakthrough in teaching babies the basic elements of swimming at a young age,” managing director and founder Ian Campbell said.
“We use the best practices from learn-to-swim programs across the world and focus on the core elements of conditioning, buoyancy breath control and mobility. Our family-friendly approach fosters close relationships with owners, teachers, children and parents making for a familiar and safe environment, perfect for boosting the confidence in young swimmers.”
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