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  • Writer's pictureShayna Gavin, Splash Principal Physiotherapist

Pathways to swimming

We are receiving many requests for helping children and young people get into swimming. There are many different pathways, and we've written up resources to help see what might suit best.

(Image descriptions at end of post)

This flowchart helps you go through a decision making process to see what service might suit you best at the moment.

  • perhaps you are ready for mainstream swimming lessons straight away;

  • perhaps you need some support for inclusion or to help the teacher upskill to meet your learning needs;

  • perhaps you need one on one support within a group session

  • or perhaps you need individual aquatic physiotherapy to develop strategies to meet individual learning needs, and to develop some baseline skills before attempting to transition.

Aquatic physiotherapy is individual sessions wtihin a shared or private pool. We can work on goals related to land based function and participation, or gaining aquatic skills and transitioning into swim lessons may be the primary goal.

We can also help families become confident to go swimming on their own at a local pool, or train up support workers to carry out an aquatic program related to your goals.

This is a parent child group run for children with specific learning needs. The strategies used in this program, such as use of visual aids for communication and schedules, can be applied to any of our services.

Following individual aquatic physiotherapy, we can facilitate transition into mainstream swim lessons.

Therapy assistants can provide additional support if you are not quite ready to go into a group swim lesson, but your learning needs have been clearly identified and you have developed a base level of skill, and no longer need individual aquatic physiotherapy.

As always, please feel free to contact us with any queries.

Image descriptions: (1) twin brothers smiling underwater (2) mother and two sisters enjoying swimming together; mother is supporting one sister to be upright in the water; (3) underwater photo of a swimmer with eyes open swimming freestyle; (4) two toddlers interacting while held by their mothers in a parent child class; (5) a swimmer taking a selfie of herself and her physiotherapist in the water, both smiling with wet faces.

Shayna Gavin is a physiotherapist who is passionate about helping babies, children and young people learn functional skills so they can participate in life at home, school and in their community. Recognising that children do best in their own environments, she visits homes, schools, and leisure activities from football fields to ballet classes. She also has daily aquatic physiotherapy sessions available at two private swimming schools in Moonee Ponds and Greensborough, Melbourne. She combines principles of paediatric physiotherapy, Neuro Developmental Treatment / Bobath, motor learning, Sensory Integration and swimming teaching to address the individual needs of each child and their family. She loves providing professional development to physiotherapists, allied health and education professionals, allied health assistants and swimming teachers.

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