Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Exercise Science | Health and Physical Education | Kinesiology | Leisure Studies | Other Rehabilitation and Therapy | Sports Sciences | Sports Studies


One in 54 individuals is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Swimming can impact the physical and mental well-being of persons with ASD, which in turn may improve their caregivers’ well-being. The purpose of this qualitative evaluation study is to assess the necessity, acceptability, feasibility, fidelity, and beginning effectiveness of a 12-session swimming training program (STP) at an indoor university pool designed to teach persons with ASD how to swim, and to teach caregivers precautions for safety around water. Participants included 7 boys, and 3 girls with ASD [mean age 7.05 years (SD 1.17)] and their caregivers. Results indicated that caregivers reported a need for this STP and the content was appropriate. Participants indicated the instructors’ creativity and patience as well as social interaction were the most interesting/acceptable part of the STP. The number of lessons and length of the STP were considered appropriate. Evaluating these critical parameters of the STP from caregivers’ perspectives was essential as this will likely influence their future participation in swimming programs.