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James’ Journey

James is a kind, friendly child who likes to learn. He thoroughly enjoys participating in his school swimming classes and now that he is in year one, James also attends the First Steps for Autism therapy at the Associations centre in East Fremantle.


James had taken part in swimming lessons last year and was looking forward to the fun he once had.  On the first day of swimming James’ mum noticed he was becoming a little anxious prior to taking him to the centre that afternoon.  His mum contacted the team to let them know of her concerns as it seemed the anticipation of swimming was now becoming a struggle.

With those thoughts in mind, an innovative team of clinicians and therapy assistants prepared themselves and their surroundings for James’ arrival that day.

There was a perfect picture book all about swimming and also a social story to be written, featuring James and the fun he has with swimming lessons.

It was all about reassurance, showing James the positives that come with being able to swim and the fun of learning alongside your peers.

The team enjoy a challenge and it’s fair to say the therapy session went particularly well that day.

James’ sudden resistance to swimming came as a sudden surprise. He is not usually prone to anxiety and it was all becoming a part of learning and growing for both James and his mum.

At the East Fremantle centre they’re always ready for the unexpected. They know the importance of tools and strategies and recognised that an aptly written social story is a valuable learning tool for parents, professionals and people with Autism of all ages.

James’ mum contacted us the next day with the following message;

“That night James asked to read the story again before bed. The next morning James bounced up and out to join his classmates on the bus. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who was involved in such a thoughtful, caring response to what had happened and it was clearly very successful as he went on to enjoy the next 2 weeks of daily swimming lessons!”

James is now on his way to becoming a very confident swimmer, a happy playful boy who is learning and growing every day.

If you would like to learn more about Social Stories go to: www.carolgraysocialstories.com

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