A dog named Cori, from California, has been helping children with special needs learn how to swim. Cori works with Jodie Powel, the founder of Special Fishies. Special Fishies is an organization that teaches kids who have special needs how to swim. According to the National Association of Autism, drowning is a leading cause of death for individuals who have autism. Special Fishies’ mission is to save lives by helping children gain valuable swimming skills.
Cori helps the children break down barriers by reducing the anxiety and stress that can be associated with learning new skills. The children are able to learn techniques in half the time with Cori’s help. The relationship each individual builds with Cori is unique and beneficial to their learning. Cori’s sister, Surf Dog Ricochet, is also known for helping individuals with special needs how to surf.
Together, Powell and Cori help to educate individuals on the importance of learning how to swim. They also hope their story will inspire others across the nation to incorporate trained dogs into their swim programs.
For more information and resources on planning for your loved one with special needs, browse through our website at specialneedsforum.org.