Special swim program for autistic

The autistic are diving into the deep end at the Long Island City YMCA (LICY) thanks to a new swim program and funding from Quality Services for the Autism Community (QSAC) and Con Edison, who provide access to the swimming pool at no charge to the members of the autistic community.

“Con Edison is proud to financially support the partnership between the LICY and QSAC to offer the swim program,” said Arthur Cronson, Con Edison’s public affairs manager and member of the LICY board of managers.

The swimming program provides the autistic with physical conditioning and concentrates on three key components, which include personal safety, personal growth, and stroke development. The courses are designed to offer lessons in water safety, and swimming skills so that people can build physical and social skills.

“Exercise and physical fitness are important components of a healthy lifestyle and we are very grateful to the LICY and Con Ed for this opportunity,” said Lauren Maldonado, QSAC director of day habilitation. “Everyone looks forward to these weekly sessions which are not only instrumental for exercise and skills development but also for socialization.”

Rachel Cutler, senior director of healthy lifestyles and membership at LICY, said that they also provide membership assistance and scholarships, so that people with the inability to pay can still receive the services.

“All you need to do is fill out the application and depending on certain criteria with your finances determine if you receive aid,” Cutler said.

For more information about the LICY and the swimming program, contact Rachel Cutler at 718-392-7932, Ext. 254 or email her a rcutler@ymcanyc.org.


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