The Halliwick Concept for People with Disabilities
For over half a century people with disabilities have been experiencing freedom in water learning through using the Halliwick Concept. Jack Tizard School has affiliation with Halliwick and has been incorporating Halliwick into topic based drama sessions as well as sing along social sessions.
Halliwick is based on principles of hydrostatics, hydrodynamics and kinesiology. It is a holistic approach bringing together knowledge about the water and the body, teaching and learning, motivation, challenge, activities, games and music, group dynamics, disability equality issues and swimming strokes (http://www.halliwick.org.uk/)
Swimmers advance through the Halliwick 10 steps programme improving their swimming positions and techniques until they reach 'water happiness' and can then progress to learning swimming strokes.
It is enjoyed by children because it is fun and gives them a freedom of movement only experienced in a hydrotherapy pool.
In the drama sessions, learners work on a number of topic related themes such as 'funfair', 'people who help us' or 'sports day'. They are able to feel how their body moves in the water and gain experience to float, stabilise and propel themselves through movements. The sessions can include use of the multisensory equipment to create atmosphere to the drama.
Group sing along social sessions are a fantastic way to be social with peers, to learn from one another and to celebrate achievement. Communication is key in these sessions as these children are able to be physically closer to their peers without equipment preventing them from physical interaction. The learners are able to use their augmentative communication aids (such as Makaton, eye gaze systems, PECS) to interact with one another. The learners work 1:1 with a confident staff member to work on their own pool targets but work together as a group.
The learners are very motivated in these sessions and with consistent and repetitive guidance, language and expectations, the learners have a chance to work on their own targets in a safe environment.