Hi my name is Dolores Cortes and I am the proud Mom of 4 wonderful
boys — Ricky who is 13, Danny who is 12, Matthew who is 4
and Adrian who is 3. Our son Matthew was diagnosed with Autism
in August 2010. He is non-verbal up to this point and is currently
in speech and occupational therapy. Besides Autism, Matthew was
born with renal issues — only his right kidney functions.
Due to his kidney problem the only sport or hobby Matthew is able
to do, that doesn’t put him in danger, is swimming.
I found Julie in a magazine ad in a therapy center Matthew attends.
I thank God for her. She has been such a blessing in our lives.
Julie and The Super Swimmers Foundation gave Matthew a scholarship
for free swimming lessons. Within 5 days Matthew was able to
move his legs and hold his breath and was swimming on his own.
I am still in total shock about this. To some, this might sound
simple but to a parent with a special child like Matthew, we
know this is a milestone.
Only special, loving and caring people
like Julie and her wonderful TEAM could have accomplished this
with the help of the Lord! I totally recommend their swimming
program to every parent out there whether your child has special
needs or not!
Why I Learned to Swim With Mr. Blue
By Dylan Pita
I am an energetic, rambunctious and adventurous 3.5 year old boy. I also suffer from epilepsy and autism, although that doesn't stop me from experiencing all the joys and risks that show up on a daily basis. I love the water but do not know how to swim unless I have a float around my chest. I can splash around the whole pool without any effort. On July 2nd, 2010 I was playing video games in my 7 year old brothers' room while he was watching TV in the family room. My mom was at the hospital with my grandfather who was very ill. We had just finished redoing the pool deck which had Chattahoochee and bothered my feet. The deck was now smooth and slip-proof and real pretty. The baby fence had been taken down for one week — the only week in 7 years since we had moved to this house. Now, the water was very dirty because of all the work done on the floor and my dad had rented a pump to empty the pool and fill it up with fresh water. My dad had connected the pump to the outlet inside the dining room which led out to the pool because the outlets outside the house kept triggering the breakers. My brother had come into his room and took over the video game so I became bored and walked out to the dining room. I did not see my dad and realized I finally had my chance to see the new floor and my pool without the baby fence. WOW!! I really loved it without the baby fence. I could walk around it with no problem. I could run and jump into the pool from any angle and the best- I could decide when to get into the pool. So, I took the chance and walked down the steps of the pool. The water was cold but I did not care- I was free! I did not need help!!! The water was also low since my dad had pumped out about half of the water already so I could reach farther into the pool. All of a sudden I realized I walked into water and I could not reach the floor-I splashed, I kicked but I could not get a sound out of my mouth. Water just kept coming in and no one was around to lift me out. I
don't remember the rest so I will let my Mom finish my story...
I had left the hospital and called my husband to let him know I was coming home. I also asked about the children. My husband was telling me about the water pump and what had happened with the breakers when all of a sudden I hear the phone drop, and from very far away — "No Dylan, No Dylan, No Dylan — call rescue, call rescue!" My husbands crying screams haunt me to this day. I hung up and called rescue. He saw our son floating face down in the middle of the pool inert and lifeless. He jumped into the pool and hauled out his body and immediately began CPR. He threw up once but was still unconscious. My husband carried our son to our next door neighbors' house and with their help he continued the CPR. Our son threw up two more times and finally regained consciousness as the rescue arrived. The ambulance transported him to the emergency room to be checked out. Thankfully his lungs were clear and he appeared to be all-right except for an ear infection they found which was causing a slight temperature. A cat scan was done on his head because of a slight bump. After one night in PICU he was allowed to go home with full clearance. We had homicide detectives, children protective services and police officers stopping by our home for two weeks. We are lucky and blessed that the outcome was positive and that we did not lose our son that day. We were referred to Ms. Julie by his therapist and we are so thankful that she was able to teach him in such a loving way how to swim. Even with everything he went thru he was able to get back in with no fear. That is why our son learned to swim with Mr. Blue. Thank you Mr. Blue. We now all know what to do.
The Pita Family
Just taking the time to write and thank you and Ms. Lucy for giving Princess the opportunity to learn how to swim. I must admit that I was underestimating the process and was more than amazed to see that Princess actually learned the technique of swimming. I am elated to know that if she were to fall in a pool that she would know how to swim and save her life now.
I really thought that at most she would get exercise but to see the progression from not knowing how to swim, to being able to swim unassisted to the side of a pool, brought tears to eyes. I saw her not only learn to swim but also become more alert, follow directions and communicate. She learned your songs and was able to follow along with your CD and book presentation with ease. This helped her relate in the pool and made directions she was given more understandable.
I would recommend your program to any family with a special needs child. Because from the initial stimulation from the story book/cd to the concept of integrating the step by step pool program helped her cognitively and she was able to mesh visual and the mechanics of swimming and it helped her follow direction better. Princess loves water and the added security you have given me to know if she fell in a pool accidentally that she had the ability to save her life is a asset and piece of mind that is greatly appreciated. You and Ms. Lucy were very understanding to the needs and patient with my daughter. You displayed what you advertised the care and patience needed for special needs children. Kudos to you and your team and I will recommend your service to any friend or organisation that has or caters to a special needs child. Thank You Julie.
Hey Jule and Mr. Blue Crew,
My daughter Kathryn met Mr. Blue the first 5 minutes of Surfers for Autism in 2010. When Mr. Blue extended his fin for that first high five, Kathryn was in love. After the puppet show Kathryn was humming the familiar tunes and doing the swimming motions! Having been in and out of swim lessons since Kathryn was 14 months, I honestly did not expect too much from your 5 day class.
To my surprise Julie's keen observations picked up immediately on some of the processing and mirror imaging issues that are so typical in children with Autism. Most swim instructors lack this awareness and furthermore are not able to find a solution. But Miss Julie saw and conquered and our girl is now a confident Super Swimmer! Thanks Mr. Blue and crew!
After her lessons, Kathryn became a devoted follower of Mr. Blue and especially Pinky the seal. She has helped with many puppet shows, offered creative efforts on the new book, by sharing what its like to try to make new friends when Autism makes you feel a little different. So listen for Kathryn, as the new voice of Pinky the Seal in Mr. Blue new book, 'Mr. Blue Meets a Super Swimmer' and DVD.
Love ya jule and Mr Blue!