Special Needs Swimming

Special Needs Swimming

We are not currently running special needs swimming, but our Main Pool has reopened for lap swimmers! Please visit our reopening page for more information.

Adaptive Aquatics


Halliwick Concept: Water-Based Supportive Therapy
Infant-Adult
Group classes and 1:1 sessions

The Halliwick Concept is a water-based, supportive technique assisting participants as they work towards increasing their strength, motor, and language skills. Swimmers will learn to gain independence in the water and meet functional living goals on land. All swimmers will be given a formal intake and placed in a group or with a trained practitioner for 1:1 sessions.

Penguins (2–14 years)

The Penguins Adaptive Aquatics program is catered to children who need extra support, with a small staff to student ratio and dedicated instructors. This progressive program features multiple classes at Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced level swimming. All swimmers will have a formal intake and pool assessment before being placed in a level and group that will best suit their goals and offer the support to ensure their success in the water. 

Penguins Group Learn-to-Swim Classes (Mixed Ages)

This adaptive and progressive program features small class sizes and dedicated instructors. Water safety skills and fitness goals are implemented at each level to help your child acquire helpful swimming habits and a lifelong love of the water. Children will be given a formal intake and placed in groups with swimmers of similar abilities.

Penguins Level 1 (Beginner)

Swimmers will practice safe entry and exit of the pool, back floats, breath control, and independent submersion as they are introduced to independent water exploration. Using water-based motor skills and proper breath control, children will work toward independence using flutter kicks, freestyle, and backstroke arm strokes.

  • Section 1: 16 Sundays, Sep 12–Jan 9 (except Dec 19 + 26), 1:30–2 pm, $624/$784
  • Section 2: 16 Sundays, Sep 12–Jan 9 (except Dec 19 + 26), 2–2:30 pm, $624/$784
  • Section 3: 16 Mondays, Sep 13–Jan 10 (except Dec 20 + 27), 3:30–4 pm, $624/$784
  • Section 4: 16 Mondays, Sep 13–Jan 10 (except Dec 20 + 27), 5:30–6 pm, $624/$784
  • Section 5 (2–5 years): 14 Tuesdays, Sep 14–Jan 11 (except Sep 21 + 28, Dec 21 + 28), 4:30–5 pm, $546/$686
  • Section 6: 14 Thursdays, Sep 23–Jan 13 (except Nov 25, Dec 23 + 30), 5–5:30 pm, $546/$686
  • Section 7: 14 Thursdays, Sep 23–Jan 13 (except Nov 25, Dec 23 + 30), 5:30–6 pm, $546/$686

Penguins Level 2 (Intermediate)

Swimmers will practice safe entry and exit of the pool, breath control, submerging to the bottom, and elementary backstroke. Emphasis will be placed on combined proper stroke work and endurance for freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and dolphin kick. Attention will be paid to proper pool etiquette and understanding how to use swimming as a form of fitness.

  • Section 1: 16 Sundays, Sep 12–Jan 9 (except Dec 19 + 26), 1:30–2:15 pm, $624/$784
  • Section 2: 16 Mondays, Sep 13–Jan 10 (except Dec 20 + 27), 4–4:45 pm, $624/$784
  • Section 3: 16 Mondays, Sep 13–Jan 10 (except Dec 20 + 27), 4:45–5:30 pm, $624/$784

Penguins Level 3 (Advanced)

Swimmers will continue to practice safe entry and exit of the pool and extended breath control and will learn life-saving skills. This class emphasizes stroke refinement, building endurance, and following a workout for competition readiness.

  • Section 1: 16 Sundays, Sep 12–Jan 9 (except Dec 19 + 26), 1:30–2:30 pm, $672/$832
  • Section 2: 14 Thursdays, Sep 23–Jan 13 (except Nov 25, Dec 23 + 30), 5–6 pm, $588/$728 

For more information please email Caitlin Boker.

Scholarships for our adaptive swim programs are supported with a generous grant by Autism Speaks.

Help us continue to ensure accessible programming for everyone. Please support Special Needs programming at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan.