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Tarentum, PA: Therapeutic swimming helps kids with autism calm down

Oct 22, 2018, Tarentum (PA) Tribune: Adaptive classes help people with special needs get in the swim Wednesday evenings tend to be good ones in Amy Binakonsky’s home in Greensburg, and she credits the adaptive swim program at the Aerobic Center at Lynch Field for that. It’s because of the positive effects the swim time has on her son Luke, 10, who has a diagnosis of autism and sensory processing disorder. “The water automatically calms him,” Binakonsky says. … “There’s so much sensory input at school that it’s overwhelming for him,” she says. “He has a lot of meltdowns when he gets home.” … There’s a lot going on during the swim sessions for people with both physical and intellectual disabilities, too — like loud music and an instructor calling out prompts and encouragement — but something about being in the water is great therapy for Luke. … The class is open to anyone dealing with “anything that is considered a special need — Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, anything,” Musick-Breegle says. Participants range in age from preteens, like Luke, to adults. … “The class is designed to be both social and therapeutic, to get people moving and get a little bit of exercise,” she says…. Josh Fawcett, 23, of Hempfield is one of those long-timers. Josh, who is diagnosed with autism and anxiety, has been a swim class participant for about five years, says his mother, Jackie Fawcett. …

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