Group First For Autism Swimming in Ireland

10 July 2019

Turtle Tots Ireland has become the first swim school in Ireland to offer group swimming sessions for children with Autism; this follows one of their swimming teacher’s receiving world-class training from Australian-based Autism Swim.


Turtle Tots Ireland has grown to become a major name in the Irish baby swimming market, teaching more than 1000 babies and infants under 4 years old each week across Ireland. More recently, at Club Vitae in The Maldron Hotel in Tallaght they have been working with the Tallaght Parents Autism Support Group (TPASG) to bring specialist ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder)groupswim classes to Ireland for the first time. 


Alan said: “Teaching young learners with an ASD/cognitive deficit has traditionally been offered on a private one to one tuition basis but through our partnership with Tallaght Parents Autism Support Group, we recognised the need for children (and their parents) to have the opportunity to access group swimming lessons, where they can socialise together, have fun, and receive the professional support they need to thrive and survive in the water.”  


“Thanks to specialist training from Autism Swim, we are proud to become the first in Ireland that can offer group classes that have been designed specifically for this wonderful population group with teachers trained with their needs in mind. In the future, our aim is to open up these sessions to other communities across Ireland,” confirmed Alan.


Autism Swim is widely recognised as world leaders in wandering, drowning prevention and swimming for those with ASD/cognitive deficit.Autism Swim’s training programme has been developed combining the expertise of Autism Specialists, Behaviour Specialists, Occupational Therapists and Swimming Instructors, and gives teachers the knowledge, skills, resources and confidence needed, to most effectively teach swimmers who need extra support in the water – in addition to being able to provide effective advice to parents / carers. 


Jo Woods, Head of Aquatics at Turtle Tots said: “I am thrilled that Turtle Tots Ireland is the first to offer group classes for children with Autism and their parents. This is part of a wider company commitment to ensure that our lessons are inclusive for all and cater for the needs of each individual child. We do this by training all our teachers to the very highest standards, not just in swimming technique but also in understanding early non-verbal communication and sensory awareness. By tuning in and responding to each child’s communication cues we can adapt each and every activity to suit that particular child, so every lesson is right for all.”


The first Turtle Tots group classes for children aged 2-6 years old will start at the Club Vitae Gym in the Maldron Hotel Tallaght in September this year.


For further information on Turtle Tots baby and pre-school swimming classes, which have received international recognition by being named amongst the best in family-friendly educational services by the Mom’s Choice Awards, please visit