It’s all about pool time— New Sensory Swim program for children at YMCA

  • The Athol Area YMCA has started a new Sensory Swim program on Thursdays. photo/Mike Phillips

Staff Writer
Published: 3/13/2019 8:59:58 PM

ATHOL — A new Sensory Swim program set up for children on the spectrum of autism or with special needs “allows them to be free, be kids, and have fun in the water,” said Dee Bulman, Aquatics Coordinator at the Athol Area YMCA.The program, which started after February school vacation this year, is open Thursdays from 5:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. It is a collaboration of Valuing Our Children and the Athol YMCA.

The Sensory Swim is meant to encourage the children to want to participate in the water and to help make those with sensory apprehension feel comfortable. “They can splash and yell and get excited and not have other people judging them,” said Bulman. “It’s all about pool time.”

The water helps them release extra energy, reduces anxiety, and helps with their fine motor skills and balance, she said. “It’s a win-win situation.” Currently the children are intermingled with an open swim time. “We’re hoping eventually down the road it will turn into a sensory swim lesson,” Bulman said.

The drop in fee is $5 per individual, $15 for a family (capped), or free with membership.

For more information, visit the Athol YMCA, 545 Main St., or call 978-249-3305.

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