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ASDF Funds Swim Program for Children With Autism

Swimming Lessons With Lydon Aquatic Center’s Private Instructors Enable Children to Compete in Special Olympics

Schererville, IN – July 18, 2012 – The Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation, a national organization that supports families living with autism, provides funding for autistic children to receive private swimming lessons at the Lydon Aquatic Center in Danvers, Massachusetts.

Since the inception of the swim program in 2009, ASDF has provided financial assistance for 12 children to take swimming lessons every week, all year round. The private swimming lessons by instructors Maureen Lydon, Charlie Piper, and Sandra Dawson provide a sensory and physical activity in a structured environment that the children need and enjoy.

Several of the children have progressed to the point of being able to compete in Special Olympics. Charlie Piper, who is the head coach of the Special Olympics swim team, said, “I believe ASDF has enriched the lives of the children by providing the opportunity to participate, learn new skills, build confidence, and interact with others. 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 now do something that once did not seem possible.”

In addition to the physical activity and social opportunities, swimming lessons are especially important for autistic children because many are drawn to water. A group lesson can be too much of a sensory overload, but private lessons enable rapid growth in a safe setting. “Although they are in a private lesson, they interact with other children and staff providing social opportunities,” said swimming instructor Sandra Dawson. “In addition, as skills and strokes are attained, their confidence improves. It is a joy and privilege to work with these children. Without the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation’s funding, I doubt the families could afford private lessons.”

Maureen Lydon adds that the swim program provides peace of mind for the parents of autistic children that they can learn to swim and become safe in the water through nurturing lessons. One-on-one instruction allows the swimmers to progress faster and enables children and families to build relationships with their instructors in addition to gaining confidence and pride in their accomplishments. Lydon said, “We’re grateful for the generous contributions of ASDF to fund swimming lessons and give autistic children in our community the opportunity to become safe, confident swimmers, something they may not have been able to achieve without the foundation’s financial assistance.”

ASDF looks forward to a continued partnership with Lydon Aquatic Center to provide support for as many children as possible, and is impressed by the expertise of the instructors and the hearts of the swimmers as many work to achieve a skill level that allows them to compete in Special Olympics.

About ASDF: ASDF is a charity that supports children with autism spectrum disorders by providing education, information, and financial assistance to their families and relevant community service organizations. Funds donated to ASDF are used to address any and all kinds of issues in assisting children with autism and their families. Visit www.myasdf.org, email [email protected], or call 877.806.0635 for more information and to see how you can help.

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