Swim Angelfish, an adaptive swim program that began in Connecticut, was recently awarded the Certified Autism Center™ designation by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES).
Parents with children on the autism spectrum often find selecting extracurricular activities a challenge due to sensory needs and safety concerns. By completing the training necessary to earn the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation, Swim Angelfish has gone above and beyond their already established programming geared toward these individuals to equip themselves with even more knowledge and best practices to ensure children with autism and other sensory disorders will enjoy the best possible experience that caters to their needs.
“We pursued the Certified Autism Center™ designation to further our knowledge and be able to continue offering the most up to date and groundbreaking services possible for swimming and autism,” says Swim Angelfish founder, Ailene Tisser. “Our mission is to be the catalyst for decreasing the alarming statistic of drowning being the leading cause of death for children with autism.”
Swim Angelfish founders Cindy Freedman MOTR, CTRS, and Ailene Tisser MA, PT, help swimmers with a variety of special needs reach their full potential through aquatic therapy sessions and swim lessons. These swim lessons and occupational therapy/physical therapy (OT/PT) aquatic sessions create within children of all abilities the lifelong skills needed to be comfortable and safe in the water and be independent and confident in other recreational activities.
A variety of programs are offered that are targeted, but not necessarily limited to, swimmers with attention difficulties, anxiety, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), sensory challenges, physical disabilities and coordination difficulties. These include OT/PT aquatic therapy, Swim Whisperers ™ swim lessons, water-based therapy training, as well as in-person seminars and private therapy workshops. They also offer a full online program for Swim Whisperers ™ swim lesson training.
“Seeing organizations like Swim Angelfish embrace the training and standards set forth by IBCCES is crucial to the aquatic community’s understanding of the connection and benefits engaging in swimming and other water activities can have for individuals with autism,” says Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman. “We anticipate this movement toward further training and certification will continue to expand in the future.”
For almost 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in autism training for healthcare, education and corporate professionals around the globe. IBCCES recognized that many families with children who have special needs have trouble finding professionals outside a traditional healthcare or education setting who have been specifically trained and certified to work with individuals on the spectrum. More parents are seeking out organizations that have completed research-based training and professional review as they review search for options for recreation and other activities.