Izzy was born with a love for water. It has always had a relaxing effect on her. We use water as a way of calming her down. When she is having a bad day with many meltdowns, associated with her Autism, a shower is all she needs to ground herself again. we started her first swimming lessons at four months old, and over the course of six years, we have had numerous swimming teachers. Some teachers have tried but most, however, had failed her. Even after her diagnosis of Autism and ADHD, lessons did not get better.

We find the problem is always the same. Teachers were trying to get her to stop moving, to stop talking, and to stop playing around in the water; from hushing her to a more recent physical assault. We had given up hope. That was until we met Peta.

When it comes to ASD and ADHD, it can be hard for teachers to teach differently, to adapt. However, children with a disability, diagnosed or undiagnosed, often need a different level of teaching style. Izzy needs to talk, she needs to keep moving. It is how she learns. In one term with Peta, Izzy has acquired more skills in the last six years of swimming lessons. Peta does it in a fun and loving way adapting her lessons to work around Izzy. Peta's kindness and determination to help Izzy enjoy her love for water in a safe way makes her a great roll model for all teachers.

The Royal Life Saving Society is committed to reducing the burden of drowning on the West Australian community by helping at-risk groups learn the essential skills of how to Swim and Survive. To find out more about the WA Swim and Survive Fund click here.

Izzy and Peta Newman Aquatic Centre Swim and Survive Fund

Pictured above, Izzy and Peta are set to continue with Swim and Survive lessons over the coming summer thanks to the WA Swim and Survive Fund and The Shire of East Pilbara.

As a not-for profit organisation we rely on generous members of the community to help us in implementing our lifesaving programs. If you would like to make a donation towards the WA Swim and Survive Fund click here.