SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A program in Sioux Falls is making sure everyone has a chance to swim.
This is the 10th year of the adaptive swim program, a curriculum design for kids with special needs to learn how to swim and feel comfortable around water while sharing the pool with others.
While swimming may just be another fun summer activity for most kids, for those with special needs it may be overwhelming and scary. Vickie Snow’s son Evan was born with down syndrome. She never imagined that he would be able to go down the water slide, but after participating in the adaptive swim program, she says he now loves it.
“Now, we’ve been to different pools and he’s actually gone down the slides,” said Snow.
Not only does this program teach participants how to swim. It helps them learn how to do it with others in the pool.
“Working with the kids, getting them used to being around the water, being in the water with other patrons and that’s why we do it during open swim time is so that they get acclimated to that environment,” said Jean Pearson, recreation program coordinator for the Sioux Falls Parks and Rec.
“The whole goal was that in the future, kids could go to the pool with their family and have a fun time,” said Snow.
Adaptive swim is specialized for each individual.
“It adapts their environment and their needs, so what I have for child A could be totally different for child B and they may use different flotation devices, maybe how they learn to swim, or we adapt the pool. Lots of different ways,” said Carole Wolf, certified adaptive swim instructor.
Changing lives, one swim session at a time.
“I want him to be able to swim and now he swims laps, he’s in special Olympics, he can do a 50 both on his front and his back,” said Snow. “You know, my goal has been met as a parent is that he has learned to swim and he’s very comfortable on the water.
Registration for the class is open now. The sessions with go from July 6 to July 28 on Tuesdays afternoons at the Laurel Oak Family Aquatics Center.