Friday, February 17, 2012


Rye has been a fish in the water for as long as I can remember.  He also has absolutely no fear.  Because of this we started him in swimming lessons at the age of four.  He was in swimming lessons one to two days a week from age four to age eight.  He has learned all four strokes and has been swimming at Mizzou Rec in lessons for the past two years.  One night when we were leaving swimming lessons and I saw a familiar face.  My friend Terri who works at the sheltered workshop in town and who has a brother on the spectrum.  She coaches various Special Olympic Teams and has for years.  She proceeds to tell me that when Rye is eight-years-old he can join the team.

So... this year was our year.  We started about a month a go.  The first two weeks were a little rough. Rye was freezing!!  Who knew that Mizzou Rec had to keep their water at 75 degrees or lower for NCAA record breaking purposes.  Terri and I discussed options on how to "warm" Rye up.  She suggested a diving shirt.  I did a little research and found a scuba suit that is used by many divers and swimmers to keep warm for training purposes.  Rye loves it!  He calls it his magic suit.  He wants to wear it when he isn't swimming.  I think it is actually a sensory support.  He says it "makes him happy".

 Over then next few weeks we see some progress in listening and swimming, as well as no complaints about being cold.  I took Rye this week and we arrived a little early.  I told him to get ready and I saw him go over to a glass window at the pool and look in the reflection.  Rye looks in windows/mirrors a lot and likes to script movies and act out parts to movies.  I stand back but while he is putting his swim cap and goggles on I hear this...

Okay, here we go.
I am speed.
One winner, 4, 2  losers.
I eat losers.
Breakfast? Maybe breakfast? could be good ...
No, no, no, focus.
Faster than fast, quicker than quick.
I am Lightning.

Me:  Huh, what? Is that from the Cars movie?

Rye:  Look out mom, it's time for speed. 

He walks up to Terri and says, "can I get in now?"

Terri:  "no, go stretch with your team"

Rye glares at her and says "Ka-Chow" then runs over to stretch with team.

So we are still working on the behavior part, but he loves swimming and Special Olympics is proving to be something exciting and really fun for Rye. What a great organization.  I am so thankful that Terri has invited us to join in the experience.  Tomorrow Terri is taking the "plunge" in a Special Olympics fundraiser the Polar Plunge.  Please help us support her.  Click HERE to donate to Terri's efforts. 


  1. Tara,
    You two are doing an awesome job! Little Rye doesn't know how lucky he is, but I do.
    The Special Olympics is a wonderful program. I have a sister who has participated for several years in Cape Girardeau. She works at a Sheltered Workshop there. She is a couple of years older than I am. The program has done wonders for her self esteem.
    I would like to donate, but really would rather not donate through internet. Would you message me an address to send the donation directly to you? Hope the plunge goes well:) Nancy A

  2. Tara I love the blog!!!!! Thank you Nancy for donating to Special Olympics!!!