Please read the information on this page. Submission of the questionnaire is required.
A diagnosis of autism is required for participation in the Starfish Swim Club.
This program is wait-listed.
At this time, any new applicants to our wait list will have a potential start date in early 2025.
Openings occur when a child graduates. Families will be notified when there is an opening and to schedule the child’s free swim trial, which is a 30-minute assessment with one of our instructors to help us gauge the needs of the child as well as provide an introduction for parents. For safety purposes, Sun, Moon & Stars reserves the right to request a BCBA, BT or parent assistance for entry into the program or at any time during the program.
Starfish Swim Club classes are specifically designed to teach children with autism how to safely swim in the water, NOT for refining technique or preparing for swim team.
Graduates will be able to swim the length of the 25-yard Watertown High School pool, including the deep end, and tread water for two minutes. If your swimmer has accomplished these skills, he/she is not a candidate for Starfish Swim Club and may be better suited for private swim lessons.
Not every child is suited to group lessons and might require private lessons, which we do not offer at this time. While our instructors are certified Swim AngelFish trained, they are not behavioral tech's. If your child exhibits aggressive or eloping behaviors, this program is not the right fit for your child.
If your family is not currently participating in Sun, Moon & Stars activities, we welcome and encourage you to join our many events and programs while on the wait list.
The Starfish Swim Club is coordinated by Watertown Parks & Recreation and located at the Watertown High School pool (324 French Street).
Starfish Swim Club Terms & Conditions
There is an ongoing wait-list for this program.
Parents/guardians will be contacted when there is an opening.
Age range: 4 through 12
Due to volunteer and swim buddy staffing, Starfish Swim Club requires 24-hour notice for lesson cancellations. In cases of emergency, we understand that shorter notice may be given, but it is imperative to communicate.
Three (3) cancellations in a row may result in a swimmer being moved back to the wait list.
Adult behavior techs or BCBA's as 1:1 "swim buddies" are welcome, if necessary. Starfish Swim Club reserves the right to assist in making this determination. Swim buddies are required to be in the pool with the swimmers. Please note: The Starfish Swim Club will not provide BCBA or behavior tech support. Sun, Moon & Stars, Inc. will not provide BCBA or behavior tech support. The Town of Watertown will not provide BCBA or behavior tech support.
Children and siblings must be supervised at all times in the pool area. Absolutely no running is allowed on the pool deck (it is slippery). At the conclusion of a lesson, everyone must exit the pool area.
Children who are inconsistent with potty training must wear a swim diaper or protective swim pants. If a child soils himself or herself in the pool without protection, the pool will be closed for a "code brown," resulting in a cleaning fee of $45 payable by the parent/guardian. If a child vomits, for any reason, the pool will be closed for a "code green," resulting in a cleaning fee of $45 payable by the parent/guardian.
The Starfish Swim Club is sponsored by The Water-Oak Circle of Sportsand is made possible
by Watertown Park & Rec, the Watertown Board of Education and an Autism Speaks grant.
About our partner: Swim Angelfish
Co-Founders Cindy Freedman & Ailene Tisser's expertise as occupational and physical therapists has allowed them to help thousands of families and swimmers gain life-saving skills and authentic confidence in and out of the pool. Swim Angelfish provides aquatic therapy as well as private- and semi-private adaptive swim lessons at 20 locations in NY, CT, MA and NH. The Swim Angelfish methodology improves swim skills and safety for swimmers with autism spectrum disorder, sensory challenges, anxiety, attention difficulties, coordination problems, physical disabilities, and more. Ms. Freedman and Ms. Tisser have twenty years of experience and have served more than 5,000 children.
Learn more at https://swimangelfish.com/blog/