Special & additional needs

Our lessons are wonderfully inclusive

Over the years, we’ve taught lots of children — and parents and carers too — with all sorts of special and additional needs. Swimming offers significant benefits for babies and toddlers with disabilities and learning difficulties:

  • increased resistance in the water helps to build muscle tone 
  • swimming helps to develop motor skills and physical fitness
  • water buoyancy helps to reduce body weight, easing pressure on different parts of the body — especially bones and joints
  • the water offers a greatly enhanced sense of freedom and independence
  • being with other children and adults in the pool encourages social interaction
  • water is a great leveller, and can help children have fun within a non-competitive environment
  • each lesson offers a range of activities which encourage children to develop their concentration, control and co-ordination
  • swimming stimulates all of the senses. Sensory activity introduces new experiences, helps little ones to make sense of their environment, develops their memory, and speeds learning. Plus, doing it together helps with bonding!

Teaching people with special & additional needs
Each Water Babies office has easy access to central resources covering a wide range of disabilities and difficulties, but we’ll also want to talk to you about how we can best help you or your little one. We’ll teach our standard course and adapt it by taking into account your particular needs. Our swim programmes use building blocks which start with simple skills and then expand on them as the weeks progress. And although our classes are full of energy, we take great care to teach at the pace that works best for you.

An underwater photo of Scarlet from Lincoln Scarlet from Lincoln enjoying the water 

Meeting your needs
We already have experience working with babies and toddlers with the following disabilities/conditions — but if what you’re looking for isn’t on our list, do give us a call. We work extremely hard to be really inclusive, so if there’s anything you’d like to discuss, or would like any advice, please get in touch!

  • Epilepsy
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Down's syndrome
  • Hearing impairment
  • Visual impairment
  • Spina bifida and hydrocephalus
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Talipes (club foot)
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle-bone disease)  

Talking to your health professional
Although we do have access to a medical group which includes a GP, physiotherapists and a neurological surgeon, we don’t presume to be medical or therapeutic experts. Therefore, we would always ask you to first check out the suitability of swimming sessions with your child’s health professionals, and to get written permission from them for your little one to attend.

Explore baby-swimming with us!
Once you’ve talked to your health professionals, do have a good chat with your local Water Babies office about any queries you might have. We fully appreciate that you’ll want to feel 100% confident about every aspect of our classes before you enrol your child and we’ll work closely with you to provide information and to address your concerns.