Staying 'water wise' this summer

YMCA has created a water safety program for children with Autism spectrum disorder.
2:46 | 08/17/22

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Transcript for Staying 'water wise' this summer
>>> WE'RE BACK. WITH WATER SAFETY A TOP PRIORITY FOR SO MANY PARENTS, DROWNING IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF ACCIDENTAL INJURY AND DEATH FOR CHILDREN IN THE U.S., BUT FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER THE RISKS OF DROWNING ARE SIGNIFICANTLY GREATER. THIS YMCA PROGRAM IS HELPING PARENTS STAY WATER WISE THIS SUMMER. >> THERE'S A GROUP OF KIDS OUT THERE WITH SPECIFIC NEEDS AND DESIRES AND GOING OUT AND PROACTIVELY ADDRESSING THOSE IS FANTASTIC. >> DYLAN IS 9 YEARS OLD. HE'S ALWAYS BEEN A REALLY BRIGHT KID WHO WAS REALLY PASSIONATE. >> WHEN WE WERE BORN HE WAS MORE SENSITIVE TO SOUNDS AND CERTAIN TEXTURES AND TOUCHES. THEN WE HAD HIM TESTED WHEN HE WAS ABOUT 5 YEARS OLD GOING INTO KINDERGARTEN. THEY ASSESSED HIM AS BEING ON THE SPECTRUM. WHEN COVID HIT, ALL OF DYLAN'S ACTIVITIES WERE CANCELED. I SAW THE BEVERLY Y WAS OFFERING PRIVATE SWIM LESSONS. WE IMMEDIATELY SIGNED UP. I GOOGLED JARED AND REALIZED HE WAS A DIRECTOR OF INCLUSION AND LIKE A LIGHT BULB, IT WAS A PERFECT MATCH. >> WATER WISE IS AN AQUATICS PROGRAM THAT WAS DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR KIDS WITH AUTISM. WE'VE OPENED THOSE DIAGNOSES UP. THE WHOLE IDEA IS THIS, IF A CHILD WAS TO FIND THEMSELVES IN A BODY OF WATER ALONE WITH NO SUPERVISION, WE WANT TO GIVE THEM THE TOOLS TO KEEP THEMSELVES SAFE. >> I REMEMBER ONE TIME I WAS TAKING DYLAN TO HIS SWIMMING LESSON. I SAID, WE'RE GOING TO YOUR SWIMMING LESSON. HE SAID, THESE AREN'T SWIMMING LESSONS. I'M SWIMMING WITH MY FRIEND JARED. >> I'VE SEEN DYLAN'S CONFIDENCE FLOURISH DURING HIS TIME IN WATER WISE. NOW ANY BODY OF WATER HE'S PUT INTO HE FEELS CONFIDENT HE CAN KEEP HIMSELF SAFE. >> PROGRAMS LIKE THIS ARE IMPORTANT BECAUSE WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYBODY HAS ACCESS TO SWIMMING LESSONS. YMCA WORKS HARD TO MAKE SURE THEIR PROGRAMS ARE INCLUSIVE AND EVERYBODY CAN SET GOALS AND PROGRESS THROUGH THE CURRICULUM AT A PACE AND PROGRESS THAT MAKES SENSE TO THEM. >> FOR THE DIVERSE KIDS, JUST HAVING THIS SET OF SCHOOLS ENGRAINED, THE MUSCLE MEMORY, IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT. >> KNOWING THAT DYLAN IS SO CONFIDENT IN THE WATER ALLEVIATES A BIG AREA OF CONCERN AND WORRY. ALSO, KNOWING THAT WE WERE ABLE TO MATCH UP HIS INTERESTS WITH SOMETHING THAT GIVES HIM SO MUCH CONFIDENCE AND HELPS HIM GROW AS A PERSON IS -- WE REALIZED THAT

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