In a recent article, “The Self-Reflecting Pool,” by Bonnie Tsui, dated Feb. 14, 2014, she wrote that two people created a map of “every single swimming pool in Los Angeles — 43,123 of them, to be exact.” That’s a lot of water! And that’s why being One with the Water® in Los Angeles is so important. People need to know how to swim and we provide them with a low-cost and efficient means of learning to swim, giving them the life-skill of swimming.
Special Needs Swimming Lessons
At One with the Water®, our research and teaching has showed us that swimming is highly therapeutic and satisfying for people with special needs, including Autism, and we have developed an approach to teaching swimming that works very well with the unique needs and challenges students with Autism experience.
Our students enjoy their swimming lessons much more than other types of classes, and they typically display fewer instances of the disruptive or self-soothing behaviors associated with Autism. This is due to our special training for connecting with students with Autism, combined with the unique qualities of swimming itself. Because swimming is a gentle, rhythmic activity with immediate sensory feedback and self-generated rewards, it actually seems to soothe and focus students with Autism much more effectively than other activities and dry-land therapies. As Tsui mentioned in her article:
The reflection of where you are: in essence, a status update to you, and only you. The experience is egalitarian. You don’t have to be a great swimmer to appreciate the benefits of sensory solitude and the equilibrium the water can bring. Swimming may well be that last refuge from connectivity, and for some, the only way to find the solitary self.
And even Diana Nyad, now famous for swimming from Cuba to the United States, told the New York Times in 2011, that,
Swimming is the ultimate form of sensory deprivation. Diana Nyad
All kids and adults are able to experience this sensation, or lack there-of, by being in the water. Our students progress so quickly that most start competing in mainstream activities. One child this past weekend, competed at the Santa Monica Swim Center and after his 50 yard freestyle, yelled, “That was awesome!” He didn’t have any competition, however, just the thrill of the crowd cheering, his ability to accomplish a 50 yard swim and enjoy it, was enough satisfaction for finish feeling elated. And we haven’t even shown him his 1st place ribbon yet!
Teaching Families to Swim
We can tell you this until your face turns as blue as the water appears to be, but until you come and try it for yourself, bring your children, bring your family, you may not comprehend it. We invite you to join us for a free swim, try it out, let us introduce you to being One with the Water®. After all, One with the Water®’s motto is “teaching families to swim.”
One with the Water’s Swimming Lessons Programs incorporate a methodology that uses swimming as a tool for learning in four areas: education, health, conflict resolution, and community development. We are highly sensitive towards our very diverse community. It is our top priority and highest goal to reach as many people who would not otherwise be able to afford swimming lessons and give them the life-skill of swimming. Swimming is not only the most healthy form of exercise, but it is also the most affordable and accessible form of exercise in the world.
Serge Dedina, a local Southern California native of Imperial Beach, wrote, in a Letter to the Editor regarding The Joy of Swimming,
Many children in under-served communities are unable to experience the “sensory solitude and the equilibrium that water can bring” because they lack access to low-cost or free public swimming pools and lessons. As we debate the issue of inequality, let us remember that there is nothing that illustrates the immoral division between the haves and the have-nots as much as the ability to swim with joy and safety.
One with the Water® fills that need, with specially-trained instructors and a nimble, low-overhead, non-profit model of operation. Generous grants and donations from compassionate donors pay exclusively for pool space, insurance, and instruction for kids and families with limited financial means. I want to personally invite you to join us, and to extend my sincerest thanks to all that have supported One with the Water® in the past and those that will in the future. And to any person, child or adult, special needs or fears, we invite you to take the plunge, jump in with both feet, and check out this new world we experience every day. It’s nice and quiet, and relaxing, or it can be a great workout to help you stay healthy and live a long and prosperous life.