We had 60 best times this weekend and 11 first time swims. 7 team records fell: Congrats to Daniela (12), 200 free and 100IM; Fernanda (14), 100 and 200 fly; Dolon(9), 500 free and 200IM; and DD(17), 50 free! Records are posted on the website @ http://www.seastarsaquatics.org/about/
Way to go, Team, so proud of all of you!
SEASTARS will be now featuring a swimmer’s Story each month. The March Featured Swimmer’s Story of the Month is Alec Crumpler.
“My son, Alec, has been swimming with Seastars for almost 9 years. The program has made a big difference in our lives.
Alec has Tourettes Syndrome and OCD. He also stutters. Before we found Seastars, we had tried 3 other programs for swim lessons. They all offered the lessons in a group of 6 to 10 children. Alec was very self conscious because, at that time, he could not get a word out without stammering and he had some very big motor tics–like jerking his arms and head. Of course, the other kids stared as did some of the coaches and parents. Alec wanted to quit. No matter how much I tried to convince him otherwise. Here was my son who loved being in the water, but was too embarrassed to take lessons in a group. His self confidence was at zero.
Then we found Seastars. At that time he had instruction with Coach Heather. He loved her as much as he loved the water! From there he swam with a small group of special needs swimmers and finally started swimming with the team. He has participated in dozens of meets and has even helped with summer swim lessons at the Salvation Army.
Alec has gained confidence, self discipline, and the lifelong skill of swimming. He knows what it is like to be completely accepted as part of a team. For that, I will always be grateful to Robin Heller. Little did I know when I took my son for swim lessons 8 years ago, that not only could he be involved with an activity like other kids, but that he would become part of something much bigger–a family.”
We love you Seastars!
Denise and Alec Crumpler
We had 12 Swimmers compete in the PNY Polar Bear Classic over the weekend in Gulf Shores, AL. We had 20 best time swims, 9 first time swims and 4 Team records fell. Congrats to Daniela Cruz for breaking the 11 and 12 girls 200 free record with a 2:45.03. The highlight of the weekend was Dolon Babcock, 9 and autistic, swimming his first ever 200 breast, back, and fly! SEASTARS has never had a 9 and 10 year old compete in these 3 events and Dolon leagally swam all 3. Way to go Dolon! Congrats on your first 3 SEASTARS Records!
Here is some info about Dolon and how he has grown through SEASTARS Aquatics:
Dolon is a happy, loving and fun boy who lights up every room he walks into. Dolon also has Autism.
At the age of 2 Dolon was not speaking, had very little social interest and had many of the extreme behaviors associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He immediately began early intervention services. At the age of 6 he was diagnosed both educationally and medically as having Autism. In school he was unable to attend General Education classes and was placed in self contained Autism Classrooms. With the help of involved parents, teachers and therapists he made some improvements over the years in speech and social interest but still struggled to cope with everyday life.
In the summer of 2013 six children with Autism wandered away from their parents and drowned within a 3 week period of time. Knowing Dolon’s love for water, his parents became determined to protect him from drowning as much as possible. However, because of his Autism, finding a swim teacher that could work with him seemed next to impossible. On top of that, Dolon’s behavior made it impossible for his mother to work outside the home and, for a one income household, paying for lessons was financially challenging. Then they heard about Seastars Aquatics which specializes in giving swim lessons to children with special needs. In order to fund Dolon’s swim lessons, his parents began selling his artwork on Etsy. Thanks to the generosity of friends and family, Dolon was able to receive 6 months of swim lessons before he was water safe and able to join the Seastars Aquatics Swim Team.
2 years later Dolon is excelling at swimming. He works very hard at practice. He attends most Swim Meets and frequently beats his best times. Even more exciting is the growth that has taken place within Dolon. Dolon is now speaking in full sentences and sharing his thoughts and ideas. He has grown into a social child who loves his friends, teachers and coaches. He has learned how to control his behaviors to the point that he is now able to attend General Education classes with ESE walk-in support. The future is so bright for Dolon!