I have been working with special needs children over the past several decades both as a physical therapist and within the aquatic arena. After having a child of my own with special needs and experiencing first-hand the heightened medical costs that these families occur, I quickly realized that these families often cannot afford recreational activities outside the costs of their medical bills and various therapies. Thus... Champions Week was born!
Champions Week is a week devoted entirely to children with special needs…at no cost! This week is funded fully via donations (as well as by a recent price increase in my regular lessons). Our staff goes un-paid during this week, and multiple volunteers contribute their time and talents so every child is paired 1:1 with a volunteer instructor. This is a week where children get to enjoy a small group lesson (either in groups of 2-3 children) alongside peers, learning about water safety, skills, and adaptations to water. We have fun, and learn how to be safe in the water. Parents attend these lessons on Thursdays for the “Show Off Day” in which we make a special presentation and celebrate their progress.
It is my heart that all children have access to participate in swim lessons, and that every child is celebrated and praised for their abilities, all the while being encouraged for the champions that they truly are!
Special thanks to Mandy McGeath Photography LLC who donated her time to capture the smiles and joy of all the children who participated in Champions week for our inaugural week in 2016!
CHAMPIONS WEEK REGISTRATION
I specially design these classes based on age, ability level, and assistance level. Careful attention is paid to the specific needs of the child, so please be as descriptive as you can. Lessons are Monday through Thursday, scheduled from 10-12, and then from 3-5:00pm. Space is limited. These lessons will be either Private or Semi-Private, with 2 instructors (or more) for each lesson.
To register for Champions Week, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org paying careful attention to include ALL of the following information:
Age (and DOB):
Special Need: (please be specific here: explain any diagnosis they have—CP, Autism, Muscular Dystrophy, Downs Syndrome, Spina Bifida, Koolen-de Vries, Blind, Deaf, Neurological Deficits, Williams Syndrome, etc….)
Ambulatory or Non Ambulatory:
Describe any physical limitations: (wheelchair bound, paralysis of any limbs, blindness, deafness, uses walker/crutches/braces for ambulation, loss of limbs, etc.)
Describe your child’s previous water experience: (have they been in a pool before, or only a bathtub? do they love water or are they afraid? can they swim short distances?