The Treasures Program - swimming lessons for children with autism

Welcome to the Treasures program!

Swimming lessons for children with autism
Swimming lessons for children with autism

What is the Treasures Program?

Hampton Swim School and Gateway Therapies have collaborated to develop this specialised program designed to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to access effective and specialised swimming lessons. The program has been developed using best practice principles and utilises a multistep approach to introducing children on the spectrum to learn to swim classes.

Children with autism are often drawn to water, but can find participating in lessons very challenging for many different reasons. The Treasures Program is designed to help children with autism learn to swim, to enjoy the water, be safe, and enjoy the many benefits swimming has to offer.

Who developed the Treasures Program?

The program participants will benefit from the combined experience and expertise of Director of Hampton Swim School, Julia Ham and Director of Gateway Therapies, Nicole Grant. Julia’s experience includes a passion and love of swimming from a young age, having competed for Australia in the 1997 Pan Pacs and 2001 World Champs. Hampton Swim School was established in 1999, through her love of aquatics and the sport she grew up amongst. Over the 15 years in operation, Hampton Swim School is renown for their strong focus on child development and teaching philosophies, which has also lead to the opening in 2010 of TumbleTastics, an early learning movement and educational fitness centre.High Five! We're finished

Nicole is an occupational therapist who has recently submitted a PhD thesis that has focused on helping parents of children newly diagnosed with autism to make intervention decisions. She owns and manages Gateway Therapies in Carina, which specialises in helping children with autism. Both Directors are parents and passionate about helping families to get the most out of life.

How does the program work?

The program is a multi-stepped process designed to ensure your child is well prepared for lessons, and to ensure the swimming instructors fully understand your child’s needs before they even get into the water. This multi-stepped program is as follows:

  1. Complete the Checklist

Complete the Treasures Program Parent Questionnaire either via email or in person. This questionnaire can be requested from either the office of Hampton Swim School or Gateway Therapies. This form will be used to determine your child’s eligibility for the program.

  1. Attend an OT Consult

An Occupational Therapist from Gateway Therapies will contact you to arrange a 45-minute consultation. This can occur at your home, or at the Gateway Therapies clinic in Carina. The aim of this consult is to discuss with you your child’s needs specific to his or her participation in swimming lessons. Your goals for lessons are established, and you will be provided with a Treasures Program Pack, that includes everything you need to help your child prepare for the adventure ahead. Following this consult, Gateway Therapies will prepare a summary report for you and your Hampton Swim School instructor.

  1. Book in a session time and day

That’s it! It’s time to get started. Contact Hampton Swim School on 3399 2004 to book your child into one of the Treasures Program Sessions. You are encouraged to also make a time to take your child to the pool to show them where they will be visiting for their lessons before they attend their first lesson. Depending on your child’s needs, you may wish to purchase ear plugs, ear band, and/or tinted goggles for their lessons. You will have discussed this with an OT at the Gateway Therapies consult. Swimming caps are compulsory. If your child does not generally tolerate swimming caps, you can discuss this with your Gateway Therapies therapist.

How much does the program cost?

Initial Consult with a Gateway Therapies OT,Including provision of the Treasures Program Pack $185*
Swimming Lessons (max. 3 children per class) $22 per session 

*   Health fund rebate may apply, item no. H100
$40 additional for mobile visit

To register, complete the referral enquiry form.

For more information contact Nicole at Gateway Therapies on 3398 9367 or at To re