The Autism Society of Greater Akron received a generous contribution from PepsiCo’s Foundation to help the Society’s Swimming with Autism program. The grant provided 216 water safety swim lessons.
According to Lisa Thompson director of the program, drowning is the leading cause of death for children with autism and one of the leading causes for autistic adults. This is why the Society created the program to teach individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities life-saving water safety skills to reduce the number of drownings.
The program operates in partnership with the Kohl Family YMCA in Akron where classes are held. The key to the program’s effectiveness is its curriculum which is specifically designed to meet swimmers at their level of ability and understanding. Individuals ages six to adult are eligible.
The program started in 2017 and has provided over 2,500 lessons. Parents report being amazed at their swimmer’s progress and look forward to enjoying water activities with less fear knowing their swimmer has water safety skills.