This Texas Swimmer Helped Change the Face of Autism

I want to share the following post from my swim academy’s blog as it is a key topic to address this month. As many of you know, April is autism awareness month. We want to spread the word and educate that children with Autism Spectrum Disorder can, in spite of difficulties, chase their dreams like any other child. Swimmer Devin Ross, a 2012 Olympic Trial contestant, is a perfect example. He did not let his autism diagnosis stop him from passionately pursuing his goals. While many children on the spectrum are faced with difficult challenges, it does not mean they are incapable of doing great things. I hope this article will inspire you to educate others.

Devin Ross, Kathleen McMordie

April is National Autism Awareness month, and today [April 2nd] is World Autism Awareness Day. In honor of both, it seemed the ideal moment to shine the spotlight on an amazing Texas swimmer, Devin Ross.  Devin was diagnosed with autism at the age of three.  His mother was told that he would never go to college nor would he live on his own.  However, in 2008 he moved to Louisiana to attend Centenary College.  He achieved many feats such as the 2011 Summit League Conference Champion and two time Summit Swimmer of the week.  Most notably though, he defeated all odds and made it to the 2012 Olympic Trials. Devin believes his autism did not hinder his abilities but rather, strengthened them. We love that he continues to encourage those with autism, proving that they can reach their goals.

As Devin demonstrates, swimming is an excellent resource for children with autism. Various studies have proven that physical activity is helpful for Autism Spectrum Disorder. We have found personally at Texas Swim Academy, along with our wonderful parents, that swim lessons can diminish occurrences of repetitive behaviors, provide an opportunity for social interactions, increase attention span, improve physical fitness, and improve verbal communication.

At Texas Swim Academy, it is our goal to help all children learn swim safety and skills. The Adaptive Aquatics program is designed specifically for children with autism. The swimmers learn how to be safe in the water, as well as develop skills for out of the water. Contact us today for more information about this program.


Aquatic Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Aquatic Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders | Kathleen McMordie Infant Aquatics Expert KatyAs you might know, April is Autism Awareness Month. And here at Texas Swim Academy, we believe that every child should have the opportunity to enjoy the water and learn how to swim in a safe and comfortable environment, including those children with Autism spectrum disorders.

Our swim lessons are designed to do more than provide the necessary skills for a child to be safe in the water. They also offer every child the opportunity to socially interact with other kids his or her own age. We are proud to offer customized, one-on-one swim lessons that fit the needs of children with all abilities and meet their specific challenges. Like all classes at Texas Swim Academy, our Adaptive Aquatics program is a result-oriented swimming program that advances students from water safety to confident (and comfortable) water enjoyment. With consistency, patience, and compassion, our specially trained instructors work with your child to achieve goals, learn valuable water safety skills, and to be confident in and out of the pool. Tune into the video below to learn more about our aquatic therapy programs.

At Texas Swim Academy, it is our goal to help all children learn swim safety and skills. The ADAPTIVE AQUATICS program is designed specifically for children with autism. The swimmers learn how to be safe in the water, as well as develop skills for out of the water. Contact us today for more information about this program.

10 Famous People Who Used Their Autistic Traits to Touch the World


Being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can mean facing difficult challenges; however it does not mean that one cannot accomplish amazing things. The following individuals are famous for their remarkable talents and accomplishments. It’s believed by many that they did not succeed in spite of their autistic traits, but because of them. While it is important to note that ASD did not clinically exist until the mid 20thcentury, many experts agree that these individuals would be diagnosed today due to dominant traits they exhibited that are typically associated with ASD.

  1. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Mozart set a lasting legacy in beautiful, classical music. He experienced many behaviors presented with autism. He had repeated facial expressions and could not keep his hands and feet still. His hearing was so sensitive that he would get physically sick with loud noises. Although he exhibited these behaviors, it did not keep him from becoming one of the world’s greatest composers; perhaps it even made him who he was. His timeless pieces are recognized around the world.
  2. Albert Einstein: It is hard to fathom that Albert Einstein had a difficult time learning in school, but he did. He was unable to read when he was young and suffered from many learning disabilities. It was hard for him interact with others, even though he did marry. He had an incredible ability to focus on his work. This kind of intense focus is a common ASD trait and likely lead him to reach the amazing levels he did in physics and mathematics.
  3. Thomas Jefferson: Thomas Jefferson was a shy man who had trouble with public speaking. It was hard for him to relate with others, and he had interesting tendencies such as wearing slippers to important meetings. Despite his tendencies, he absolutely overcame and became the third president of the United States. Not only did he become president, he also wrote one of the most important documents in American history, the Declaration of Independence.
  4. Charles Darwin: As a young child, Charles Darwin was very introverted. The older he grew, the more solitary he became. He liked to be focused, and he fixated his time on studying gadgets and things. This incredible level of focus led him to develop his iconic Theory of Evolution that launched a sea change in scientific thought.
  5. Lewis Carroll: Lewis Carroll produced one of the most popular pieces of children’s literature, Alice In Wonderland. Only his special imagination could come up with the incredible tales he created. He lacked social skills and preferred the company of children rather than adults, which could have helped him create his magical stories.
  6. Hans Christian Andersen: Hans Christian Andersen had a hard time fitting in. He was introverted and had a vivid imagination. His story, The Ugly Duckling, showed how he felt being different that those around him, but yet he was still just as special. His imagination produced some of the best fairy tales of all time, including The Little Mermaid and The Princess and the Pea.
  7. Andy Warhol: Artist Andy Warhol exhibited repetitive behavior and paid an extraordinary attention to detail growing up. Have you ever wondered why his iconic pieces all display repetitive themes? This could actually be a sign of his Asperger’s behavior. He used his special skills and unique view of the world to create the famous art movement, Pop Art.
  8. Tim Burton: As a child and teenage, Tim Burton was independent and reclusive, preferring to spend his time studying art and watching films. His introspective behaviors have helped him to create some of today’s greatest animations, art, stories and films like Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmate Before Christmas. He has earned a Daytime Emmy Award, Future Film Festive Digital Award, and National Board of Review Award for Best Director.
  9. Dan Aykroyd: Dan Aykroyd, actor and film writer, was diagnosed with Tourette’s as a child and later diagnosed with Asperger’s. He actually contributes being on the spectrum to the creation of the popular American film Ghostbusters. He has an obsession with ghosts and law enforcement, to the extent that he always carries a police badge with him. Without this characteristic, Ghostbusters could have possibly never been created!
  10. Susan Boyle: Susan Boyle became famous from her appearance on Britain’s Got Talent. She has always had a difficult time in social situations and struggles with her communication skills. She was even bullied as a child. However, she was determined to make her dream of singing come true, and she did exactly that. She now shares her beautiful voice with audiences around the world.