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Local Program Teaches Swimming Skills to Children with Autism

July 10, 2014

(July 10, 2014) -- In a FOX 4 KC exclusive they highlighted a swimming program in Kansas City called Sensory Supported Swimming which teaches swimming and water safety to children ages four to 17 with autism. This story happened in light of many in our community who are still grieving from the news of the 5-year-old Missouri boy with autism who wandered from his family's home Tuesday and shortly thereafter drowned in a neighbor's pond. 

The program was started through the University of Kansas's Department of Occupational Therapy Education. Their program was a recipient of our Swimming & Water Safety grants. in 2011 they also were one of our Community Grant recipients. Lisa Mische Lawson, the Director of Sensory Supported Swimming says, "It is critical for children to start swim and water safety lessons at an early age, not only to learn swim skills, but also how to behave around water. This is especially important for children with ASD who may wander toward water. We teach children when and how to enter the water, how to exit, and survival skills such as bobbing for a breath and back float. We hope these lessons will help children with ASD and their families enjoy water activities safely."

You can learn more about how you can apply for our Swimming & Water Safety Grants here