Adapted Aquatics Class Descriptions

Below are the descriptions for adapted aquatics learn to swim classes that are part of the Arlington County Aquatics Program in conjunction with Therapeutic Recreation. These classes are for youth and adults ages 3 and up who are living with disabilities. These programs use instructors and volunteers to maintain low staff-to-participant ratios to better meet the needs of all. The column on the right below indicates the skills that are introduced within each course. Most students will repeat courses to master necessary required skills. There is no set amount of time that is allotted to master specific skills, please be patient and remember that confidence and competency take time and repetition.


Tot Splash Adapted (ages 3-5 years)

Fall | Winter | Spring | Summer
Click the link to the season above to view the current classes online in the WebTrac registration system.

Required Skills

Preschoolers with disabilities will play and learn elementary aquatic skills with a focus on water safety, breath control, pulling, kicking and adjustment skills. No prior skills are necessary to take this course. Students should be willing to leave parent willingly by the second class meeting. Parents are allowed to assist with the first class as needed.

Introduced Skills

Students will learn to:

  • Enter and exit water independently using ladder, steps and stairs.
  • Blow bubbles and submerge face
  • Glide on front/back 2 body lengths
  • Front/Back float 3 seconds
  • Combined swimming on front introduction
  • Safety Skills
  • Adjustment Skills

Youth Splash Level 1 & 2 (ages 6-12 years)

Fall | Winter | Spring | Summer
Click the link to the season above to view the current classes online in the WebTrac registration system.

Children with disabilities will have fun and begin to develop water skills. The program will focus on water exploration, safety, adjustment and other elementary aquatic skills from Level 1 and Level 2 swim programs. No prior skills are necessary to take this course. Students should be able to leave parent willingly for this course.

Introduced Skills

Students will learn to:

  • Enter and exit water independently using ladder, steps or stairs and jumping into chest deep water
  • Blow bubbles and submerge face
  • Glide on front/back 2 body lengths
  • Front/Back float 3-10 seconds
  • Combined swimming on front and back
  • Treading water
  • Safety Skills
  • Adjustment Skills

Youth Splash Level 3 &4 (ages 6-12 years)

Fall | Winter | Spring | Summer
Click the link to the season above to view the current classes online in the WebTrac registration system.

Children with disabilities will have fun and continue to develop elementary and begin intermediate water skills. The program will focus on breath control, swimming on front and back, pulling, kicking and endurance skills from Level 3 and Level 4 swim programs. Students should be able to leave parent willingly for this course and have taken the Youth Splash Level 1 & 2 program and met the aquatic and adjustment skills requirements including being comfortable in deep water.

Introduced Skills

 Students will learn to:

  • Learn to enter water head first
  • Glide on front and back for3 body lengths
  • Float on front and back for 30 seconds in deep water
  • Combined swim front and back between 15-25 yards
  • Introduction to Elementary backstroke, breaststroke and sidestroke
  • Open turns at the wall
  • Tread deep water for 30 seconds
  • Continuing intermediate aquatic skills
  • Safety skills

Teen/Adult Splash (ages 13-adult)

Fall | Winter | Spring | Summer
Click the link to the season above to view the current classes online in the WebTrac registration system.

Students with disabilities will have fun and begin and continue to develop elementary and begin intermediate water skills. For beginners, the program will focus on water exploration, safety, adjustment and other elementary aquatic skills from Level 1 and Level 2 swim programs. For intermediate participants, the program will focus on breath control, swimming on front and back, pulling, kicking and endurance skills from Level 3 and Level 4 swim programs.

Introduced Skills

Students will learn to:

  • Enter and exit water independently using ladder, steps or stairs and jumping into chest deep water
  • Blow bubbles and submerge face
  • Glide on front/back 2 body lengths
  • Front/Back float 3-10 seconds
  • Combined swimming on front and back
  • Treading water
  • Continue with beginner and intermediate aquatic skills depending on the level of the participant
  • Safety Skills
  • Adjustment Skills