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Aquatic exercise has been shown to benefit those with unique abilities in many ways:
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Our daughter participated in a swim program over the summer and this has given her much more confidence in the water. Thanks to the competence and patience of the instructors our daughter benefited tremendously from the physical activity and the strengthening of her overall muscle tone. I think that opportunities to move and learn specific athletic skills in a fun way such as this swimming class are a perfect addition to the regular therapy that children with Down syndrome already receive on a regular basis. Moreover they are fun and offer them a chance to socialize with other children, especially if these opportunities are offered also to typical friends.
Thank you so much for these wonderful programs and I am looking forward to engaging her in more activities and similar programs in the future.
Our daughter was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship for swim lessons through The FOUNDATION this past summer for which my husband and I are extremely thankful. Most of the lessons we researched were out of our budget. Our instructors did a fantastic job making sure all of the children in our group lessons were comfortable and happy. Some days of course were better than others (our daughter was a little uneasy the first few weeks) but slowly she progressed and learned some great new skills. My husband and I were both welcomed to be a part of the weekly lessons as well which made her feel safe and us more confident knowing what we needed to work on at home. Just because our daughter has Down syndrome, we do not feel that she should be any less included in typical activities children her age are involved in. Learning to swim we feel is no different, living in Florida we feel it is imperative. My husband and I now have the foundation - thanks to the lessons - to continue to expose our daughter to the water with hopes she will continue to progress and next summer be jumping off of that diving board!
Thank you again to The FOUNDATION for all you do for our children!!
We were very happy to receive the Down Syndrome Foundation of Florida scholarship for a swim program near us. Swimming is a very important skill for any child to learn, especially in Florida with all the water! When a child has Down syndrome there are added benefits for strengthening and coordination that can help the child long term. We plan on continuing our son's swim lessons (water therapy) in the future. I was very happy to see him kick and climb successfully out of the pool.
It was very helpful to have the semi-private lesson for our son, since it was challenging to get him to accept the water (especially if it was cold). The instructors were really helpful taking over with him when needed. We had fantastic instructors, and have a gentle approach which both my son
and I appreciated! Thank you once again for the scholarship!
Judah Romualdo is a kind and adventurous child with Down syndrome who has a miracle story to tell when he grows up! Judah and his family experienced every parent’s worst nightmare when he was the tender age of 4 years old. Annette Romualdo had a family gathering at their home where all the children were playing and having a good time. Like all mothers do, she started wondering why all the sudden she didn’t hear Judah playing and immediately went to look for him. She was shocked to see Judah in the nearby pond, floating and unresponsive. She ran towards him and cried for help.
Thankfully, they immediately performed CPR while contacting 911. After numerous intents to revive him in the ambulance, they arrived at Nemours Children’s Hospital where they were informed that Judah may have cognitive failure or not even live. Luckily, the Romualdo’s had the tremendous support from their community and the Down Syndrome FOUNDATION. They required many helping hands to keep life going as usual during Judah’s extended stay in the hospital, but after several weeks he was on his way home. He made a full recovery. As soon as Judah was able, Annette sought out swimming lessons for her son to not only teach him how to swim, but to also teach him about water safety.
The FOUNDATION helped the family through their challenging times and then awarded Judah with a swim scholarship. Now, Judah is an excellent swimmer and enjoys playing in the water – safely. Mrs. Romualdo encourages moms to teach their children about water safety and also encourages CPR lessons for the entire family.