Jim Reiser and Vi Hendley, authors and producers of Teaching Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to Swim, were recently featured as special guests on Autism Live TV.
Autism Live is an interactive webshow providing support, resources, information, facts, entertainment and inspiration to parents, teachers and practitioners working with children on the Autism Spectrum. We are happy to share with you this special segment, hosted by Shannon Penrod and Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson, about learn-to-swim for children on the autism spectrum.
Shannon Penrod is the proud mother of a nine-year old who is recovering from Autism. Her son Jem was diagnosed at the age of two and a half after having lost virtually all of his language and social skills.
Helping her son on his journey through Autism became Shannon’s top priority. Whether it was researching new diets, learning the legal ins and outs of special education law or finding funding for ABA therapy, Shannon became her son’s best advocate and an advocate for many other families. In 2009, Shannon began the host and producer of Everyday Autism Miracles, a weekly radio show that focuses solely on Autism and hope.
An award winning stand-up comedienne, director and author, Shannon’s goal is to provide families with information and hope while on their journey through autism.
Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson is an Emmy award-winning, former national television producer and executive who pioneered the magazine program format with Westinghouse’s PM Magazine. After serving as Vice-President of Group W Productions, she served as executive producer for a number of network and nationally syndicated programs, including the long-running NBC talk show, LEEZA. A former high-powered television producer turned author and activist on the subject of fearless aging and autism awareness. She co-authored Not Your Mother’s Midlife: A Ten Step guide to Fearless Aging (Andrews McMeel) and Fearless Women: Midlife Portraits (Stewart, Tabori & Chang). She wrote and performed in the stage show “Boomer Babes” and has done motivational speaking to sold out audiences around the country.
She has been honored with the United Press International Award, the Associated Press Award, the Gabriel Award, the Genesis Award, as well as having been named one of the Hollywood Reporters “Women to Watch”. Having grown up with a younger brother with Down Syndrome, Alspaugh-Jackson was aware of the challenges families face raising special needs children. She feels it was no accident that she was given a special needs child to raise herself. Alspaugh-Jackson feels her most important assignment came after her adopted son Wyatt was diagnosed with autism at the age of three (Wyatt is now 11 and making tremendous progress). Although Wyatt started displaying signs of autism at the age of 2, he was not diagnosed with the disorder until three and a half and did not receive effective treatment until the age of four and a half.
With that in mind she began working to help other families find the resources for autism care and treatment. She became the executive director of ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!), a national non-profit organization whose mission is to provide resources and fund grants for children whose families cannot afford the necessary tools their child needs to reach their full potential.
In the last five years, she has raised 5 million dollars for autism care and treatment, and launched the first national campaign for military children with autism, ACT Today! for Military Families.
The International Swimming Hall of Fame has named Jim Reiser the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award for his curriculum and approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim. Jim is the first American to win the award in 10 years.
If you would like to learn more about the Swim Lessons University certification program and curriculum, make sure to visit us at www.SwimLessonsUniversity.com We have training and certification programs designed for both private instructors as well as organizations like YMCAs, Recreation Departments, Athletic Clubs, and more.
Swim Lessons University is currently being utilized by recreation departments, YMCAs, America Camp Association swim lessons programs, as well as by private swimming instructors in 45 states and over 30 countries!
You can also call us toll free at 1-866-498-SWIM (7946).