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Thread: My Student, "The Scuba Guy"

  1. #1
    TadPole
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    My Student, "The Scuba Guy"

    Hello Fellow Scuba Enthusiasts!
    Less than a year ago, I (a grown woman) knew nothing about SCUBA.
    In August, I began teaching a 14 year old boy with Autism.
    He is low functioning academically, speaking is a challenge, he is easily distracted by noises, does not like to be touched and is fascinated with SCUBA gear.
    My student is excellent at memorizing, but has great difficulty with applying his knowledge and is unable to create or understand abstract concepts (like money...)
    While learning about MN, the land of 10,000 lakes, my student became particularly intrigued with a photo in a travel brochure of a man SCUBA diving. From that point on, every spare moment was dedicated to researching SCUBA. We even went on a field trip to Lone Star Scuba where there was a wet suit for $229 and my student did not understand why the $22 in his wallet couldn't buy the suit (the "9" was hard to explain). He has the entire LSS catalog memorized.
    I wished he was into a cheaper sport & his dad was confused as to why his son wanted a wet suit for his b-day when they don't even have a pool

    Then it hit me!
    1. When diving, you don't have to speak (he knows all the hand signals)
    2. You don't have things touching your skin (that's why he is adamant about a long sleeve and long pants wet suit even though the short ones are cheaper)
    3. Minimal noise distractions
    4. and...it's hard to tell he has a disability if he looks like all the other divers.

    SO.....
    Does anyone have some pre-owned gear that they are no longer using?

    Let me know if you would like to help my student learn more about SCUBA.
    Feel free to pass this message on.

    Thank you so much!

    Amy
    [email protected]

  2. #2
    Shark
    Join Date
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    Hi Amy,

    Here are a couple of resources: www.diveheart.org and www.diversalertnetwork.org

    If you call them, they will be able to answer your questions.
    "Time's fun when you're having flies." -Kermit the Frog

  3. #3
    Grouper
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    My advice is look into doing a discovery pool dive with a local shop (talk to them about your special needs first).

    1) gear is usually provided as part of the experience

    2) cost is minimal, it's kind of a 'first taste is cheap (but not free)' experience, once you are hooked, you can look at increasing investment (or soliciting others for help like you have done here).

    3) The education requirements are minimal. There is no 'test', no working with dive tables or anything else that would require application of math skills. There may be some social aspects of it that are challenging, but the right shop could help with that.

    Most of discovery diving is about getting in a pool (or if you are located in the right place, a beach dive) with an instructor close by to see if you like it.

    I wish you well in this endeavor.

    Ray
    Slowly exhale, relax, your brain will kick in...and if you can breath and think calmly, there's not too much you can't figure out, in any part of life.

  4. #4
    Shark
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    You'll want to make sure that the instructor has training in adaptive diving, specifically for people with autism.

    Here is another resource: www.hsascuba.com
    "Time's fun when you're having flies." -Kermit the Frog

  5. #5
    You might start him out with a dive skin. In warm water it would be all the "wetsuit" he would need. It can also be worn under a wetsuit - even a rental since he may not like the idea of one touching him that others have used if you do the Discovery Dive. They also feel real smooth to the touch.

    If Lone Star doesn't offer Discover Dives - check with Scubatoys - they do on Wednesday Nights in their on-site pool. http://scubatoys.com/training/discov...a.asp#overview

    If he's 5'6" or taller, they're $29. http://www.leisurepro.com/p-blrlm/neosport-unisex-lycra-spandex-skin-suit



  6. #6
    Barracuda
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    make sure he skips a BCD and goes straight to backplate/wing with hogarthian setup. and he needs to rock steel 120s, backmounted. and no split fins, those are a sin.
    i'm not as think as you drunk i am ...

  7. #7
    Shark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigg_Budd View Post
    make sure he skips a BCD and goes straight to backplate/wing with hogarthian setup. and he needs to rock steel 120s, backmounted. and no split fins, those are a sin.
    Budd, Are you going to DUI Days at Beaver Lake?
    "Time's fun when you're having flies." -Kermit the Frog

  8. #8
    Barracuda
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    Quote Originally Posted by Largo View Post
    Budd, Are you going to DUI Days at Beaver Lake?
    when is it?
    i'm not as think as you drunk i am ...

  9. #9
    Shark
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    Next weekend.
    "Time's fun when you're having flies." -Kermit the Frog

  10. #10
    Barracuda
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    dude, if you're going i'll be there. lemme get wheelman on-board...
    i'm not as think as you drunk i am ...

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