Joomla\CMS\Document\HtmlDocument Object ( [_links] => Array ( ) [_custom] => Array ( ) [template] => halo [baseurl] => [params] => Joomla\Registry\Registry Object ( [data:protected] => stdClass Object ( [style] => default ) [initialized:protected] => 1 [separator] => . ) [_file] => /home/halodev/public_html/templates/halo/index.php [_template:protected] => [_template_tags:protected] => Array ( ) [_caching:protected] => [_html5:Joomla\CMS\Document\HtmlDocument:private] => [title] => Halo Leisure - World Autism Acceptance Week 2nd - 8th April 2024 [description] => Halo is a registered charity and social enterprise running 19 sport and leisure centres throughout Herefordshire, Bridgend County Borough and Shropshire on behalf of the local authorities. We also share our expertise with developing operators such as the Point4 at The Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford and The Severn Centre in Highley, Shropshire. But that’s only the start of the story [link] => [base] => [language] => en-gb [direction] => ltr [_generator] => Joomla! - Open Source Content Management [_mdate] => [_tab] => [_lineEnd] => [_charset] => utf-8 [_mime] => text/html [_namespace] => [_profile] => [_scripts] => Array ( [/media/jui/js/jquery.min.js] => Array ( [type] => text/javascript [options] => Array ( [version] => auto [relative] => 1 [detectDebug] => [framework] => [pathOnly] => [detectBrowser] => 1 ) ) [/media/jui/js/jquery-noconflict.js] => Array ( [type] => text/javascript [options] => Array ( [version] => auto [relative] => 1 [framework] => [pathOnly] => [detectBrowser] => 1 [detectDebug] => 1 ) ) [/media/jui/js/jquery-migrate.min.js] => Array ( [type] => text/javascript [options] => Array ( [version] => auto [relative] => 1 [detectDebug] => [framework] => [pathOnly] => [detectBrowser] => 1 ) ) [/media/system/js/caption.js] => Array ( [type] => text/javascript [options] => Array ( [version] => auto [relative] => 1 [framework] => [pathOnly] => [detectBrowser] => 1 [detectDebug] => 1 ) ) [/templates/halo/js/template.js] => Array ( [type] => text/javascript [options] => Array ( ) ) ) [_script] => Array ( [text/javascript] => jQuery(window).on('load', function() { new JCaption('img.caption'); }); ) [scriptOptions:protected] => Array ( ) [_styleSheets] => Array ( [/plugins/system/jce/css/content.css?87b387fbe663cc062a4faf6e8d63dd28] => Array ( [type] => text/css [options] => Array ( ) ) [/templates/halo/css/template.css] => Array ( [type] => text/css [options] => Array ( ) ) [//,400,400i,700"] => Array ( [type] => text/css [options] => Array ( ) ) ) [_style] => Array ( ) [_metaTags] => Array ( [http-equiv] => Array ( [content-type] => text/html; charset=utf-8 ) [name] => Array ( [keywords] => general [rights] => [author] => Bina ) ) [_engine] => [_type] => html [mediaVersion:protected] => 87b387fbe663cc062a4faf6e8d63dd28 [size] => medium )

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Halo Leisure embraces World Autism Acceptance Week 2024, prioritising equity to ensure tailored support for each individual's unique needs.

What does equity look like…
Parent quotes:
“I was totally amazed how THE INSTRUCTOR was WITH MY DAUGHTER and myself, and it really makes a massive difference having these experiences for our children who unfortunately have less experiences for many reasons. A massive thank you again. I really appreciate the precious time I had.”
“Really grateful for this programme. It is quite difficult to get my son to engage in anything, and he has been nagging every morning to go!”
While equality is about making sure everyone is treated fairly, given equal rights, and access to equal opportunities, equity goes further and tailors  support to individual needs. Equity is not about treating everyone the same, but about supporting people in accordance with their particular needs and allocating resources depending on those needs.
In other words equity is about putting in place the policies and taking very practical steps to make that happen. It’s the stuff that sees trained student mentors welcoming their fellow students into colleges and universities, recognising that social anxieties might be reduced by some friendly one to one support. It’s ideas that transform workplaces by the introduction of a quiet room and relaxation breaks and workstations that avoid sensory overload.
And in sport and leisure? Same rule applies. Equity  delivers activities that recognise and respond to children’s needs and when that happens the results can be transformational.
We've learned and lived this, with the help of our Autism Friendly Children's Swim programme. We know that for children with ASD, mainstream swimming lessons can be super stressful because of immense sensory perceptual issues. In fact research has shown that in the UK more than 90 per cent of parents have left mainstream lessons as a result of instructors not understanding their child's needs.
We have not only seen hundreds of children benefit from our Autism Friendly Swim programme, we've seen others, including other visitors and our staff, enriched as a result of learning from those families and understanding what inclusion looks like. We want to take that learning forward as we plan more of the same in the future.
Did you know, with your help, our leisure trust is promoting equity?
● In 2023, 142 Children with ASD were supported with the dedicated Autism Friendly swimming lessons at Ynysawdre Swimming Pool.
● 12 swim instructors have taken Autism Swim training and 10 have completed Autism Swim certification.
● Over 100 members of Halo staff have now completed the Autism/Hidden Disabilities training course.
● Across all sessions in 2023, 100% of parents surveyed said they agree or strongly agree with the following statements:
○ This course has benefited my child’s ability in the water
○ This course has benefited my child’s confidence
○ This course has benefited my child’s self-esteem
Want to know more and join the programme?
Children with ASD are 160 times more likely to drown than their neurotypical peers and accidental drowning is the leading cause of death in children with ASD under the age of 14. While many sports are difficult for autistic children because they require focus on several factors at once, swimming is an individual sport and more easily embraced. We believe every child deserves the chance to learn to swim. Halo’s Autism Friendly Children’s Swim Program makes a range of adjustments to support children with autism, ensuring that swimming lessons are accessible and enjoyable.
● Courses run 3- 4 times per year in Bridgend County Borough per year 
● Aimed at children aged 4+ who have been diagnosed with ASD or are on the pathway
● Sessions run during school holidays and half terms.
The Autism Friendly Swimming programme has been supported by Bridgend County Borough Council and the BBC Children in Need. 
The Autism Swim programme from Halo has been made possible with the funding from Bridgend County Borough Council and the BBC Children in Need with practical support from Autism Swim Wales.
For more information contact 
Autism Friendly Swim 2023 Infographic