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Persons w/Autism or Disabilities Learn to Swim (PADLS)

Please DONATE  to Help Sustain & Grow Our PADLS Program ...

Help Us Save Kids w/Autism & Special Needs Across Florida!!

Drowning is the leading cause of death among autistic and special needs children under the age of 15! And, for every child that drowns, another 4 are hospitalized for near-drowning accidents. This issue is even more severe in Florida due to the sheer number of water sources easily available (Pools, Ponds, Canals, Rivers, Lakes & Gulf). Autistic & Special Needs kids can often be less aware of the world around them, putting them at an even greater risk of drowning. It is imperative to teach children with autism or special needs to swim as they typically have limited sense of inherent threats or danger, tend to easily wander and, perhaps more than most people, they have a true natural affinity for the water.

As these special kids need 1-on-1 training, VERY few places offer the specialized instruction they need. Our PADLS Program provides lessons targeted at the non-swimmer to establish basic water safety skills allowing anyone who falls into a body of water to be comfortable going under water, safely surfacing, reorienting themselves and then easily reaching the shore.

With our initial grant from AUTISM SPEAKS, we established our pilot PADLS Program at the Cape Coral Yacht Club community pool in Cape Coral, FL. In this initial training cycle, we taught 34 kids over a total of 309 instruction sessions. 

I am now working hard to again raise funds so we can get our highly subsidized training started again in the Spring / Summer of 2018. Anyone willing to help me in this effort, please reach out!

In the meantime, I've been volunteering with the "WaterSafe SWFL" initiative sponsored by Lee Health System. See the brand new website I created for this effort at swfl.watersafe.info! This will grow into an easily accessible site for info. on water safety and drowning prevention here in SWFL!

PADLS Program Overview
16-0909 - PADLS Program Description.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [329.0 KB]
PADLS Program - Application Form
PADLS - Participant Assessment Form.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [69.8 KB]

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