My 8 year old son, Justin, started at Angelfish in the Swim Whisperers program one year and seven months ago. Around the age of two and a half, Justin was diagnosed with PDD-NOS. His speech therapist at the time recommended Angelfish to me and I kept it in the back of my mind for the future. Justin has always been very afraid of going under water and very opposed to getting his face wet. When he was three, we tried swim lessons at our club pool. Justin met with the instructor weekly for the whole summer. He was willing to get into the pool and play, do a little kicking while holding onto the side, but that was as far as it went. In the fall, we tried a program for children with special needs. Justin’s instructor tried to get him to go under the water on several occasions, but still to no avail. Even getting splashed by other children made Justin uncomfortable. In the meantime, he was experiencing so much anxiety about going under water, that he’d worry about it for the entire week every week. After awhile, Justin was given a different instructor who had a lot of success teaching children to swim; but even she made little progress with him. By the fall of 2012, I decided to give Angelfish a chance. We enrolled Justin in the Swim Whisperers program and he was assigned to Krystal Miller. From day one, I had a good feeling about Krystal and the Angelfish program. I liked the fact that Angelfish was founded by two professional women who had first hand experience with children like Justin and the fact that they were both therapists. Justin and Krystal immediately clicked and I loved the way she was with him. Krystal first focused on gaining Justin’s trust. From that point on, she has challenged him and has had him test his limits while at the same time, providing warmth, support and patience to go at his own pace. Since starting Angelfish, not only has Justin made progress with swimming for the first time ever, he has actually learned to swim! And just this past weekend, he voluntarily went under water several times and did it with no signs of anxiety!
Aka “Proud Mom”