Children With Challenges Online Course

Children With Challenges Online Course

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The Children With Challenges Online Course is the first step in a learning journey. Developed as a collaborative effort between the Aquatic Therapy and Rehab Institute (ATRI), USA Swimming, USA Swimming Foundation, and the Starfish Aquatics Institute (SAI), the course provides a basic introduction to working with children with challenges in a swim lesson or swim team setting. 

Upon completion, learners will have access to a wide variety of additional optional professional development experiences, including Children With Challenges workshops, a social networking and idea sharing group, and more advanced training through a network of approved Professional Providers. 

If you have questions, call 719-866-3546 or email

Special thanks to SwimAngelfish for many videos and photos included in this course, along with review and professional insight regarding content. For information about their program and certification in the SwimAngelfish methodology, visit

Modules and Learning Objectives

Upon completion, you should be able to:

Module 1 – Priorities and Benefits

  •  Identify 3 areas of high priority
  •  Discuss opportunities and benefits of participation
  •  Take a nurturing approach
  •  Suggest appropriate inclusion
  •  Find resources for elite level participation

Module 2 – Safety and Risk Management

  •  Identify safety considerations
  •  Evaluate basic accessibility at an aquatic facility
  •  Respond during an emergency
  •  Reduce the risk of contagion
  •  Reduce the risk of abuse

Module 3 – Individualizing Aquatics

  •  Use cueing
  •  Modify activities
  •  Adapt communication methods
  •  Select appropriate equipment
  •  Manage behavior and attention

Module 4 – Challenge Specific Facilitation

  •  Identify common challenges
  •  Recognize the characteristics of specific challenges
  •  Implement challenge-specific safety recommendations
  •  Adapt teaching methods