Brenda takes her 5-year-old grandson, Trey, swimming three times a week at the North Brandon Family YMCA. Trey has autism and it isn’t easy to keep his attention. In fact, Brenda says she’s tried many different activities with him, but swimming brings something out of him she’s never seen before. “He loves swimming,” says Brenda. “He just gets so excited about going. He didn’t even like the water until we started going to the Y.”
Now, Trey jumps right in, bobbing in and out of the water with a huge smile on his face. Brenda says she’s starting to see improvement in Trey. “One of the things we noticed after the swimming is he gives you good eye contact now. He looks right at us with all this gleam in his eye. We didn’t know, for sure, if we’d ever see that. So, it’s really been amazing.”
The proud grandmother says coming to the Y is the highlight of their week. “He gets so excited when we drive up to the Y. I’ll park back where the pool is and he doesn’t ever point to anything. Now, he’ll point to the pool and he says, ‘I want to go swimming.’ He says the whole sentence so it’s really encouraging us a lot.”
Trey is an inspirational case showing how the Tampa Y is committed to helping all children and teens reach their full potential, regardless of any mental or physical limitations. Brenda shares, “If you have a child with a disability, swimming is wonderful for children with autism. If you haven’t tried swimming with them, you should try it because it really makes them learn to come out of their shell.”
Cutline: 5-year-old Trey swims three times a week at the North Brandon Y.