“A joyful heart makes good medicine.” – Proverbs 17:22
Chances are, if you are a parent, you’ve been disturbed by the number of cases in the news recently of special needs children who have wandered from their caregivers and drowned. Drowning is a danger for all children, but for children with sensory processing issues, water is especially alluring.
So, when I was looking for an after-school activity for Luke that would be both beneficial and enjoyable for him, swimming lessons seemed to be the natural choice. I tried many different avenues, including private lessons and swim schools, but any progress Luke made was lost after a very short time without exposure to the pool.
That’s when I finally got the opportunity to try Swim With Mr. Blue. Many of my friends with special needs kids had successfully learned to swim there. I learned that they offer a free trial class to anyone who wants to see how their child reacts to Swim With Mr. Blue’s unique method, which uses social stories and songs to teach swimming techniques – ideal for young children and special needs kids, who need to know what is going to happen before it does.
It was our third week of lessons when I met Julie Blue, the owner of Swim With Mr. Blue. She approached me and said, “So, tell me about Luke.”
Now, I’ve told you before (Blessing #3) that some of the greatest blessings on my special needs journey have been the great kindnesses and generosity of the people we’ve met along the way. It was clear from that first meeting, that Julie is one such person.
She told me all about Swim With Mr. Blue’s, Super Swimmers Foundation, which offers scholarships for her popular 5 Day Swim Safe program to those with autism and other special needs. Before I left that day, she had offered Luke a scholarship, and it’s been clear to me from all of my interactions with her since that day, that she has a huge heart. She genuinely wants every child to learn to swim safely and it is a calling and ministry in her life.
Long story short, I saw more progress in those 5 days than I had seen with weeks of private at-home lessons. One of my great concerns was that Luke found it unpleasant to put his head underwater, so I worried that even if he learned how to swim, he wouldn’t use his skills unless he was forced; however, by the end of the five days, Luke absolutely loved being underwater. I feel confident now that as his skills continue to improve, he will most definitely use them every time we swim.
So, if you are in the South Florida area, check out the Super Swimmers Foundation and Swim With Mr. Blue!