Programs and Services

The water is a wonderful place to play and learn. The water itself has many benefits. Most importantly it’s a fun, welcoming place where energy and engagement can happen and kids can be kids.  Being in the water can help children with balance, coordination, strength, cardiovascular fitness, attention to task, language, and social skills. Many of the children in SNAP use the water as their primary source of physical activity and have shown positive changes in independence as they learn and/or practice how to walk, talk, reach, roll, jump, make friends, and swim. SNAP is also a great social outlet for the children and all the staff that participate. SNAP is Water Magic!

CALENDARS   SNAP Berkeley Calendar 2018-2019   SNAP Palo Alto Calendar 2019-2020DRAFT


SNAP Berkeley New Swimmer App 2018-2019 2 SNAP Palo Alto New Swimmer 2019-2020


SNAP has partnered with the Berkeley YMCA and the Palo Alto YMCA to provide services to our special swimmers. SNAP Berkeley meets on Fridays (5:15 & 6:15) and Sundays (11:45, 12:45 & 1:45).  SNAP Palo Alto meets on Fridays (4:30, 5:15, 6:00). While meeting in groups, each swimmer has 1 – 2 volunteer helpers working with him/her as programs are tailored to the needs of each swimmer. That way swimmers get the benefits of personal attention and the opportunity to swim with other children, socialize, and make friends.

Swimmers range from 1 to 18 years and have a multitude of diagnoses such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, spinal muscular atrophy, arthritis, sensory processing disorder, autistic spectrum disorder, developmental delays and genetic conditions. While SNAP accepts children with a variety of needs, priority may be given to children with physical challenges who can most benefit from warmer water pools.

Weekly classes follow the UC Berkeley and Stanford calendars and run September through June. We hold a Mini SNAP in the summer running 5 weeks. Classes are led by head instructors, with each swimmer having 1-2 volunteer helpers for their individualized programs. We have a program manager at each site who will be your point of contact.

Children participate in activity programs that are individualized to address their physical, intellectual, and developmental needs. They also participate in group games, songs, and group activities each session. For our younger children, parents may be requested to participate as well. Children and parents enjoy this special play time while children reap the benefits of playing and learning together in the water.

Young Children
For young children, early intervention and enrichment activities have shown to help create new neural pathways and new learning.  Instruction is presented to help engage young children in fun and beneficial activities which encourage physical, sensory, communication, and social development. We highlight the beauty of each child and help foster the special bond between parents and their children.
School Age Children
Swimmers are encouraged to continue to experiment with movement, balance and coordination, rhythm, language, fitness and participate in partner and group activities with other swimmers. Children work on flexibility, strength, coordination, following directions, developmental swimming skills, and social skills as needed. It’s a fun time for all!
Pre-teens and Teens
Pre-teens and teens need a place to continue to develop their skills and exercise. They also often have personal goals for their fitness programs.  With each swimmer having 1-2 volunteer helpers, we work  to develop aquatic skills, strength, and endurance, and provide opportunities for aquatic games and group activities within our class setting.

Other Services

  • Consultations and training for families in how to work with your child with special needs in the water. (video conferences option)
  • Educational opportunities for rehabilitation trainees and professionals.
  • Training and support for aquatic facilities and aquatic professionals who work with or desire to provide services to children with special needs.
  • Volunteer opportunities in the water with children with training provided.
  • Volunteer opportunities in nonprofit management.