Who is Swim Angelfish?

Special Needs Adaptive Swim – Helping YOU become a “Swim Whisperer” too!

Swim Angelfish creates educational resources for the world’s adaptive swim lessons needs and advocates for the necessity of having specifically trained instructors for this growing population.  For 20 years we have provided both free and paid online training materials for all aspects of adaptive aquatics. The Swim Whisperers® methodology stands above the rest by educating instructors not by disability but by roadblocks and easily integrates with any existing swim curricula. By recognizing the underlying problem and using our toolbox of strategies and techniques to overcome them, swimmers of all abilities are able to learn to swim faster and with less discomfort, helping them acquire the lifelong skill of being safe, confident and independent in the water. Through the knowledge gained from our co-founders Cindy & Ailene working as aquatic therapists plus the continuous feedback received from our 20 locations throughout New England that offer both aquatic therapy and Swim Whisperers ™ swim lessons, we are able to continuously add new and vital content to our program.

Interested in becoming a Swim Whisperer too? Our family of certified instructors continues to grow across the globe! Find out more about here: Online Certification!

Angelfish Background

The Beginning

Cindy and Ailene began working in Aquatic Therapy as an extension of their therapy businesses. They connected and a wonderful partnership was formed. Together they launched in the company Angelfish Therapy.

Filling a Need

After repeated request of numerous parents, the co- founders committed to developing a swim curriculum for all aquatic professionals. Striving to educate parents, caregivers, swim instructors, aquatic directors, swim school owners, on how to better work with children who have Autism, PDD-NOS and sensory processing issues.

Sensory Processing Disorders

Swim Whisperers® was designed to meet the needs of a growing population with these issues. According to a 2004 study, at least 1 in 20 children’s daily lives are affected by a Sensory Processing Disorder. The CDC released findings that raised estimates about the number of children in the U.S. with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis to 1 in 65.

Arming Our Children

According to the Red Cross: “About 3,500 Americans drown each year, averaging ten deaths per day. More than one in five fatal drowning victims are children 14 and younger.” What’s more, drowning has been identified as a leading cause of accidental death for children and adults with Autism. These are the statistics that keep us up at night, and motivated us to offer our Swim Whisperers program to all aquatic professionals and the swim community at large.

Education Too

Since 2010, Swim Angelfish has sold over 200 DVD’s nationwide and presented Aquatic Therapy and Swim Whisperers training in 3 different countries.

Some of Our Happy Clients

Swim Angelfish Founders

Ailene Tisser, MA, PT
Ailene Tisser, MA, PTFounder
Ailene is a pediatric Physical Therapist with more than 25 years of experience treating a variety of diagnoses, both in and out of the water.  She is NDT (Neuro-Developmental Treatment) trained in pediatrics and is trained in play project, DIR/Floortime. She is currently certified as an Autism Specialist by IBCCES.  Ailene brings all of her Physical Therapy expertise into the water where she helps children of all abilities feel safe, confident and independent.  She combines her passion and skill for working with children with special needs with the therapeutic properties of the water to strengthen children’s core muscles, improve sensory processing, integrate primitive reflexes and improve independent function.
Cindy Freedman, MOTR
Cindy Freedman, MOTRFounder
Cindy is a recreational therapist and an Occupational therapist.  After working for 10 years as a recreational therapist in a variety of settings she pursued a masters degree in OT. Her career as an OT includes specialty training in sensory integration, reflex repatterining and aquatics. She is currently certified as an Autism Specialist by IBCCES. As a swimmer and national champion diver her love of the water combined with her education and work experience created the opportunity for Swim Angelfish to become a reality! “Our mission is to create an aquatic community of trained instructors so that together we can decrease the alarming statistic of drowning being the leading cause of death for children with adaptive swim program needs.”