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PADLS program seeks instructors to teach children with disabilities how to swim

Many Floridian children love to be outside and play in the water; unfortunately, those on the autism spectrum or with special needs are more likely to drown. In fact, drowning is the number one cause of death among autistic and special needs children.
The Florida Helps Foundation of Fort Myers is looking for volunteers to help with its Persons with Autism or Disabilities Learn to Swim program.
FHF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds to go toward worthy causes.
Autism Speaks awarded a $23,000 Family Community Services grant to help develop and manage the PADLS program.
With the help of additional donations, the FHF have devised its swimming instruction program, initially hosted at the Cape Coral Yacht Club last summer, and the foundation intends to expand the program to multiple community pools in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties.
It hopes that properly teaching children with disabilities in Southwest Florida how to swim will lead to a decreased number of accidental deaths by drowning.
In order to expand its services, it needs Water Safety Instructors to help teach children how to swim. Instructors must undergo training to receive a swimming instruction certification before they are allowed to work with the children. FHF is searching for individuals with experience as lifeguards; the training it provides will explain to instructors how they can best attend to the specific needs of children with autism spectrum disorders.
If you are interested in volunteering for the program, email Mike VonPlinsky at [email protected], or check out the official website to learn more.

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