Swim School Management System
Each school term we spend two weeks checking, sorting, filling redistributing profile sheets. Each child in our program has a profile sheet that details their progress from their first lesson onwards.
During the first three weeks of each term these children can change classes to, so everyday during this time we need to check that each instructor has the correct profile sheets for their classes. This process takes eight weeks of sorting and filling each year plus twelve weeks of partial time checking each year.
The OCPMS team has developed a way to export from our systems to do this all on line and give each instructor instant access to all of their profile sheets.
As this is instant it means we do not have to spend weeks of checking, filling and sorting. Having this information online means we save 300 pieces of paper per a term! The process also eliminates the possibility of losing any of this valuable information (something we have struggled with up to now). This has released one staff member for eight weeks per year to assist in other ways.
Swim School Coordinator
It is well known that children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are visual learners. A range of visual supports are often incorporated into school and home life to help enhance access to information, and improve quality of life. This includes teaching social skills, expressing wants and needs, and reducing anxiety through the creation of a schedule. Children with ASD often struggle to transition between activities, especially when activities are unexpected, creating a high level of anxiety. These visual supports not only create an avenue for communication, but they also increase comprehension during the task.
Visual schedules are a visual representation of the tasks that will happen throughout the day or during an activity. It breaks down a task, reducing anxiety associated with transitions, whilst also increasing understanding of the activities.
Generalisation of skills is important for all children with special needs, therefore encouraging the use of these schedules within all social encounters is beneficial for both the child and the teacher. This technique has a long history in educational and home settings, and thus lends itself well to a swimming environment. The creation of these specific visuals, adapted for swim education, now provides the opportunity for swim teachers to implement them in classes for children with ASD and other special needs.
A major advantage of these visuals is the ability to prepare the child for non-preferred activities within the lesson, reducing anxiety associated with tasks. Not only can the child see what is required, but it also enables them access to communication and the ability to express their wants within their lesson.
The benefits of using these visual supports affect not only the child, but the teacher and parents, ensuring a positive and rewarding environment.