In Perth Amboy, New Jersey, the parents of one boy on the autism spectrum do not let this diagnosis stand in the way of his success. Instead, they take matters into their own hands and form the Jersey Hammerheads, a Special Olympics swim team for a group of diverse teens on the autism spectrum. They train and coach this team of teens to compete together with high expectations, zero pity and plenty of support and encouragement.
In this science-focused lesson, students will learn about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and explore how participating in sports can benefit individuals on the spectrum. Through viewing film clips from the documentary Swim Team and reading current research on ASD, students will practice the scientific method of observation and data collection at their own school, focusing on sports and special needs students.