YMCA and nonprofit team up to launch program for kids with autism

The Brandywine YMCA and Autism Delaware have teamed up to offer a program for kids with autism. The program called SWAM is making sure all kids feel included in the pool.

"Kids with autism are very attracted to water. We wanna make sure they're safe," swim instructor Taylor Demyan explained.

Ryan Stansell was already like a fish in water and in a couple of weeks, he'll be competing in the Special Olympics with the freestyle and backstroke.

"He moves across the pool quicker than he used to so that 25 free used to take four minutes now it only takes two," his mom, Melissa Stansell, said.

"It's so rewarding watching them get in the water and make that next step that they got into swimming," Demyan said.

Demyan teaches kids 3 to 18 years old. The kids get one-on-one instruction with SWAM. 

"We're seeing a great response here in North Wilmington and very excited about expanding opportunities to all of our Y's throughout the state," the Y's Senior Director of Aquatics, Deric Clinton said.

There's a waiting list that is quickly growing. 

"We're also looking for additional resources grants and things like that to be able to support the program well into the future," Director of Policy & Family Services at Autism Delaware, Annalisa Ekbladh explained. 

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