Swimming provides invaluable therapy for children with autism, as well as providing a social outlet for them. Swimming can help an autistic child improve their speech, coordination, social skills, self-esteem, and cognitive processing. Too often children with autism are excluded from sports or have a difficult time because there are too many elements to focus on. Once under water, even in a team setting, a child is alone and doesn’t have to anticipate someone else passing them the ball or be responsible for the success of the team.
Swimming offers an autistic child success no matter what the outcome, which is hard to come by in other situations in their life. ACA provides direct scholarship money for swim lessons to parents who are unable to afford it on their own. The benefits from it are just amazing and are great therapy for a child with autism.
What others are saying about ACA’s swim program…
“My part of the Paul J. Lydon Aquatic Center revolves around the swim instruction for three autistic athletes, Ryan, Bella and Alexandra. All three have currently achieved a level of swimming whereby they are competing in Special Olympics. This achievement builds confidence and enhances their social skills. I believe (your foundation) has enriched the lives of my three swimmers by providing the opportunity to participate, learn and enjoy. It is very obvious to me that each of these swimmers has benefited greatly in their personal, social and athletic lives. They know they can do something that once did not seem possible. I feel privileged to be part of this program. It is a great joy to see how these children have been able to move forward.”
~Charlie Piper, Swim Coach and Private Instructor
“I was immediately concerned for Ryan as he loves water and has never had swimming lessons. I shared my concern for Ryan with the foundation and through the generous donations they receive, they helped fund the swimming lessons so our family could focus on Ryan and not worry about our financial situation. He has taken 3 lessons so far and is making tremendous progress. Even more priceless is the peace of mind that these lessons have given me since they could save his life someday. The generosity of people like you is the key to unlocking a child’s future. From one parent to another, thank you so much for your kindness.”
~Lisa M., mother of an autistic child
Update on Ryan
“Ryan was able to go underwater and tried to swim to the ladder last Friday!!! The instructor was amazed that he was ok with being submerged. He is gaining confidence and it makes me so proud. If it wasn’t for your foundation, he would not have been able to enjoy this weekly experience. Thank you again!”
Visit our testimonials page to read more, or submit your own story here.