Rocco’s Story

Rocco Stavrianopoulos started taking special needs swimming lessons one-on- one with an instructor when he was 4 years old. He started in our small warm water pool with play-based instruction with toys to motivate him and help him learn basic swimming skills.

Now 4 years later, he can participate in free swim time during camp in our large pool and is continuing to take lessons to build his endurance in the water. He loves swimming because he can now do it independently which has helped him gain confidence. (He even interacts with the pool staff and parents despite his verbal skill challenges to proudly demonstrate his accomplishments.)  

His mother said, “As a mother of a child with severe autism, water safety is a top priority. During the four years Rocco has participated in the swimming lessons at the Darien Y, he has gained amazing skills and a love for the water. Swimming is one of the only activities that our family can enjoy together. We’re able to gain peace of mind knowing he is safe doing something he loves. Seeing him swim in 12 ft. water and jumping off the diving board brings joy. We’re grateful to the Darien Y’s Special Needs Swimming program.”