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I CAN Swim: Preschool-Young Adult

Canadian Red CrossPurpose
The purpose of the I CAN Swim program is to teach basic swimming and water safety skills to children, teens and young adults with autism in a safe and supportive environment. The objective of this program is to help participants develop swim and water safety skills that will assist them in enjoying a lifetime of water recreation pursuits. 

The swim program will teach basic swimming and water safety skills under the nationally recognized Red Cross Swim program. All participants will work toward achieving a Red Cross report card that can eventually transfer to other community-based swim classes. The program duration will also be extended from 6 to 8 weeks, allowing participants more time to practice and improve their swim skills.


Each session of the I CAN Swim program consists of 30 minute lessons, once per week, for multiple weeks. Sessions for this program take place three times during the year; fall (mid-October to late November), winter (late January to early March), and spring (mid-April to mid-June). Each lesson consists of a small group of participants with a high ratio of support provided by a certified swim instructor, trained support workers, and dedicated volunteers. Lessons include skills development and water safety awareness in a fun environment.
*With a high ratio of support provided,  parents and other family members are asked to remain in the waiting area while the program is taking place. Further details on program structure are provided on each of the additional swim program pages:

Preschool 3-6yrs swim
Kids 7-12yrs swim
Teen and Young Adult Swim 13yrs +
Private Swim Lessons



At Canucks Autism Network, we strive to meet the needs of each participant and encourage parent collaboration.  Our staff receive training on a variety of support strategies to use with participants.  Please do not hesitate to speak with the certified swim instructor and support staff about strategies to use with your son or daughter (e.g., visual schedules, first-then boards, token systems, social stories, etc.) and contact the Program Coordinator, Ali Gorsak (ali.gorsak@canucksautism.ca) with any questions or concerns. 


Canucks Autism Network has prepared the following social storybook for those families who may find it helpful. To view the swim social storybook,  please click here. 



For the spring 2017 eight-week session of the swim program, there will be a subsidized program fee of $40 or $60 (dependent on the length of the lesson: 30 minutes or 45-minutes) for those participants confirmed into the program. Canucks Autism Network does not wish for this fee to act as a barrier to accessing programming, and the following link provides options for payment methods of the program fee, including Autism Funding and a fee assistance program: Program Fee Options. Participants being confirmed into the program will be provided additional information on how to process their program fee by end of day on Friday, March 17th, 2017. If you have any questions regarding this program fee, please contact the office at info@canucksautism.ca.


Registration for the spring 2017 multi-week program was open to from Monday, February 20th at noon, to Friday, February 24th.

If you’d like to submit a late registration request, please email info@canucksautism.ca with the following:
1.       The name and age of the participant, and
2.       The program name, location and time that you are submitting a late request for.
To view our spring leisure guide, which lists our spring programs, locations and times, please visit: http://www.canucksautism.ca/leisureguide




To view upcoming programs, please visit canucksautism.ca/leisureguide.


Funded in part by a generous grant from the CKNW Orphan's Fund.

CKNW Orphan's Fund

Autism Speaks Canada