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Luis Columna

Unique Child...Unique Family: A Family Friendly Aquatic Program for Children with Disabilities

Abstract

· A carefully designed aquatic intervention results in improved swimming skills in children with disabilities. Aquatic experiences give individuals with disabilities a variety of opportunities that help them improve their well being throughout their life spans. · Therefore, professionals who work with children with disabilities should acknowledge the benefits that accrue from aquatic environments and develop these types of programs based on individual needs. · Even though swimming is one of the preferred activities among children with disabilities and their families, often parents of children with disabilities lack the skills in terms of how to teach their children..

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· Therefore, the purpose of this program is three fold: (a) to provide parents of children with disabilities with the skills necessary to work with their children in an aquatic program, (b) to provide student-teachers of children with disabilities with the skills necessary to work with children with disabilities and their parents in an aquatic program and (c) to provide children with disabilities with the skills necessary to work in an aquatic program. Approximately 15 to 20 children with disabilities will benefit from this program each year. Approximately 15 to 20 parents of the children who participate in the program will also benefit. In addition, 15 to 20 studentteachers in the field of adapted physical education. The program will consist of 14 sessions in which the student-teacher and parents will together implement aquatics activities for their child with a disability. Pre and post assessment will be administered to the child with a disability (water orientation and swimming skills), student-teachers (teaching skills) and parents (child's interaction) to determine effects of the program on these variables.

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Rationale

· Preference of recreational activities varies according to the type of disability, age of the individual with the disability, and individual interests. · One of these preferred activities is swimming.

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It has been shown that a carefully designed aquatic intervention results in improved swimming skills in children with Autism (Huettig & DardenMelton, 2004).

· In 2006, Prupas, Harvey and Benjamin presented a unique aquatic program for individuals with autism and their parents. · The instructors of the program provided a range of activities to the parents which they could use to participate in their community (e.g. aquatic parks, community parks) with their children.

How many people will benefits from this program?

· The proposed aquatic program for children with disabilities will not focus only on one disability. Instead a wide range of disabilities will be covered. · Approximately 15 to 20 children with disabilities will benefit from this program each semester. In addition, approximately 15 to 20 parents of the children who participate in the program will benefit.

· Budget

­ First year ­ Mainly equipment

·$3,782.98

Equipment

· 30 belts @39.99 · 4 Speedo Baby seal @ 15.00 · 2 underwater platform @ 1,078.94

Equipment cont...

· · · · 20 noodles @ 59.80 2 sets of mini dive @ 25.90 5 sets of diving rings @ 49.75 1 octopus fun float @ 28.95

Equipment cont...

· 1 fire boat squinter · 4 pool party back pack

Program Description

· Participants

­ Children with disabilities ages 1 to 18 ­ Parents of children with disabilities

· Teachers

­ Student-teachers in APE

Teachers Training

· 4 hr. training to student teachers enrolled in an advanced APE class. · Training includes:

­ ­ ­ ­

Safety issues Swimming techniques Games for all Working with parents

Procedure (Overview)

· Participant recruitment · Pre assessment to parents

· · · · ·

Parent's Training Pre assess children's level of aquatic ability (swimming) Intervention Post assess children's level of aquatic ability (swimming) Post assessment to parents

­ Perception of swimming abilities of their children ­ Perception of own abilities to interact with their children

­ Perception of swimming abilities of their children ­ Perception of own abilities to interact with their children

Parent's Training

· During parent training, the student-teacher will be with them to get acquainted · 2 hr. training

­ Training includes

· Safety issues · Swimming techniques · Games for all · The parents will complete the Pre assessment to parents

­ Perception of swimming abilities of their children ­ Perception of own abilities to interact with their children

Intervention

· The program includes 14 session in the pool. · The first session will be just to play with the child and the parent. · During the second session both the parent and teacher will complete a pre-assessment of the child (Huettig's swimming · assessment tool)

Intervention Cont.

· After the assessment the teacher will analyze the results and arrange a meeting with the parent to discuss the results and identify the goals. · The student-teacher will develop the lesson plan and share the lesson plans with the parents. · After each session both the teacher and the parents will discuss what works and what doesn't.

Intervention Cont.

· At the intervention #7, the student teacher will present a report of the child's progress. · At intervention #13 a post assessment will be conducted on the child. The results will be shared with the parents. · Intervention #14 will be the last day of the program. The student teacher will prepare a report to parents including ideas of what they can do with their children in an aquatic setting. · In addition, the teacher will review with the parents the program accomplishments.

Intervention Cont.

· The students (kids) and their parents will receive gifts and refreshments during the last day of the program. · During the last day parents will complete a post assessment

­ Perception of swimming abilities of their children ­ Perception of own abilities to interact with their children

Evaluating Program Success

· Pre and post test student assessment · Pre and post test parents assessment · Program enrollment · Questionnaire of parental satisfaction · Questionnaire of students-teachers satisfaction

Future Grants

­ Additional Equipment 2nd year: $10,553.51

· $4,195.00

$4,414.38

$1,944.13

3rd year Grant

· Equipment (if necessary)

· Teachers Aquatic Certifications

Information

Luis Columna

21 pages

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