Be swim safe with Autism Swim.

Autism Swim is a 10-week swim safety program, specifically designed for people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other abilities. The program teaches participants how to be safe around water, while also increasing swimming skills.

All CPA instructors have received Autism Swim certification, giving them the resources, skills and support to effectively teach participants with ASD how to swim safely. Parents and carers will also be given the opportunity to learn practical skills to prevent wandering and drowning.

The program is suitable for children and young adults aged 7-25 years, and can be delivered 1:1 or in a small group format. Autism Swim is also tailored to meet each individual participants’ needs, goals and strengths.

Autism Swim is an international, social enterprise of experts specialising in wandering and drowning prevention for those with ASD and other abilities.

Autism Swim is designed for children and young adults aged 7-25 years diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other abilities.

Specialised training

Autism Swim has identified a significant lack of specialised water safety and swimming training for people diagnosed with ASD amongst mainstream swimming schools.

CPA Autism Swim certified instructors understand how people with ASD process information and acquire new skill sets. This allows the instructor to tailor each swimming session to an individual’s capabilities.

Water safety and drowning prevention

According to Autism Swim, children with ASD are 160 times more likely to drown than their neurotypical peers.

This is because some people with ASD may not like being in water, which means they don’t get the chance to learn water safety and how to swim. While others may associate water with easing their sensory needs, and actively go wandering to find it.

Someone living with ASD can also find it difficult to anticipate the dangers of being in or near water. They may also have challenges judging the risks associated with water play. This can be multiplied if the ASD diagnosis is accompanied by an intellectual disability.

This is why CPA Autism Swim certified instructors focus on water safety skills such as floating on your back, or learning to hold onto the side of a pool, as well as learning how to swim.

Water therapy

Anxiety is a significant factor for people living with ASD. However water therapy has shown to provide significantly positive outcomes in helping to reduce ASD associated anxiety.

This is why water therapy is a huge component of our swimming lessons at CPA. A swimmer’s ability to process information is limited unless they feel calm and relaxed. So beginning a lesson with water therapy offers sensory relief, while maximising the ability to process instructions and information given during the class.

  • Swimming can fulfil sensory needs in a low stimulation environment.
  • Swimming programs aim to increase an individual’s level of safety in aquatics environments through teaching specific skills and instilling confidence in the swimmer, which are potentially life-saving skills.
  • Frequent swimming can result in increased mobility, balance and coordination, as well as increased fitness, joint stability and muscle strength.
  • Swimming is a social and fun activity which can help individuals make new friends. Autism Swim recommends 1:1 lessons to begin with, to allow individuals to build their own water tolerance so they can progress to enjoying time spent with other swimmers.
  • In 2009 to 2011, accidental drowning accounted for 91% of total deaths reported in children with ASD ages 14 and younger, subsequent to wandering.
  • Children with ASD are 160 times more likely to drown compared to other children.
  • Children with ASD are 8 times more likely to wander between the ages of 7 and 10 than children without ASD.
  • 58% of parents of children with ASD consider wandering to be the most stressful ASD behaviour.
  • 50% of parents of children with ASD have never received advice or guidance about elopement from a professional.


CPA centres Allambie Heights and Canberra

Register now to secure your spots on the program starting 27 April.
Limited spots available!

Call 1300 888 378 or email:

Autism Swim – keeping James safe

Six months ago James was fearful of the water and couldn’t swim.

Since completed Autism Swim with CPA he is now much more confident in the water, has improved his coordination and strength, as well as learning new social skills.

Be swim safe!

To register your interest, or for further information call 1300 888 378 or email:

I’m interested

  • We will respond as soon as possible, between Mon-Fri 9:00am – 5:00pm.

Find out how CPA supports individuals with ASD.