This program teaches people with autism how to swim

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Another successful STRIDE swimming program is in the books! The program focuses on teaching children ages 4-21 the basics of swimming and water safety; and for the more advanced swimmer, teaches stroke work and easy competition skills for Special Olympics. With the support of grant funding from Autism Speaks, STRIDE was able to fund the program for 15 new swimmers and 10 advanced swimmers who participated in a 10 week course that met weekly developing skills for all student abilities.

The program as a whole was a smashing success, with some students going on to compete in the Special Olympics (on both state and regional level), and every student progressed substantially in their ability and comfort in the water. The STRIDE program worked with the participants on basic water safety, acclimating to water, and basic strokes. Watching the progression was truly amazing.

One swimmer in the beginning of the program was terrified of the water. Every week the amazing volunteers worked nonstop with the child, as he slowly progressed to become more and more comfortable. By the end of the program he was able to get in the water, get his face wet, and walk the length of the shallow end. Another swimmer was also fearful of the water and clung to every volunteer and progressed to jumping joyfully into the water.

STRIDE puts together these amazing swim programs, as well as many others, year round! If you have a child that may be interested in a program like this, or have a friend or family member that might be, be sure to contact STRIDE at www.STRIDE.org or call 518-598-1279.

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