One with the Water® is honored to be the first organization to release the UCLA study ‘Remaking Recess’ by the Autism Intervention Research Network – Behavioral Health (AIR-B).
‘Remaking Recess’ is a guide to improve the social inclusion of elementary school children with autism spectrum disorder through facilitated peer interactions. It is an intervention that focuses on increasing social engagement between children with autism (ages 5-11 years old) and their typical peers during the less structured times of the school day.
Since October 2013, One with the Water® has been applying the principles in Remaking Recess to its already highly successful programs and swimming lessons for the Autism Spectrum. Founder and Head Coach, Kenneth Rippetoe, stated, “Remaking Recess is useful for modeling positive social behaviors in Autism Spectrum swimming lessons. The guide is informative, cutting edge, and most importantly, applicable to real-life situations.”
During all swimming lessons, and especially during the swim practice for Special Needs Swim Team for Kids, the organization mixes in 30 minutes of dry-land exercises that are great for strength, balance, spatial orientation, and anatomical awareness. They are firm believers in the importance of this sort of ‘cross-training’ for swimmers. It is something most teams do much later in life (and then it’s mostly focused on strength). Having a mix of dry-land and pool-based activity actually gives kids a better framework for understanding verbal swimming instructions. It also makes it easier to correct the ‘bad habits’ and postural imbalances that often develop in swimmers.
The dry-land activities draw them in for direct joint social engagement. It is important to engage the kids with their peers. After stretching and exercising, kids are taken on a two-lap run around the ball park. They are asked to think about whom they might want as their running partner that day.
Coaches circulate through the exercise circle while the kids are interacting and participating. They actively seek out the children that might be having difficulties and help them to feel comfortable by engaging in the activity with them. And of course, most importantly, coaches model having fun by demonstrating the positive aspects of the exercises and interactions, and paying close attention to the body language and facial expressions of the children.
A father, whose son is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, reported, “Henry really responded to head Coach, Kenneth Rippetoe, and looks forward to his class more than anything else right now. After the first class, he suddenly looked forward to and enjoyed swimming, as opposed to dreading it. He made huge strides, the biggest he has ever made, working with One with the Water.”
Visit http://onewiththewater.org for more information.
Name: Kenneth Rippetoe
Organization: One with the Water
Address: 1651 Veteran Ave., Suite 3, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 90024