Shayan, age 6, has been with us since May 2017 and is our pioneering example of why special needs lessons are so important. Below, Shayan's parents write about their child and what they recommend for anyone who has kids with special needs:
It is truly important to Brian and me at SafeSplash-Austin that we can help EVERYONE learn how to swim, regardless of their fears or challenges. Autism is a complicated and often misunderstood disease that can isolate children and keep them from taking part in activities that many of us take for granted. Every child on this planet is unique and has their own strengths and weaknesses. The same is so for children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). While their condition may make it a bit more difficult to discover what makes them tick, that extra investment of time and patience is well worth the effort.
People are constantly surprised when I tell them that I teach swimming lessons for a living. What they fail to realize is that I don't just teach kids doggy paddle and floats. I am teaching them a set of life skills that they will have for the rest of their lives. As a coach, I believe that having confidence is important and I love to remind all of my students that they are able to accomplish anything, and everything, they set their minds to.
Swimming is a life skill. It’s our motto here at SafeSplash for a reason! Learning to swim is often an iconic moment in a person’s life. It’s an activity that allows a person to experience life in a completely new way. Most importantly however, swimming is important to your child’s development and safety. In accordance with this philosophy, a recent study has highlighted the importance of swim lessons for children with Autism.
My 6 year old son has Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder and loves being in water. He has always terrified me because he has no fear. I’ve had him in swim lessons since he was itty bitty but it just wasn’t clicking. A few months ago we attended a birthday party at a pool and it became obvious that something had to be done. I decided to give SafeSplash another try this time doing semi-private lessons and stressing that my son has special needs.