"Alix is my son’s instructor. As a parent of three autistic young adults, I’ve always wished for a program like JAAR. My children have always had an affinity for water, but couldn’t swim or float, so their favorite sensory experience was dangerous. With water resilience training, my son can now float and do a backstroke, he’s more confident and aware in water, and has more fun knowing if his stimming were to lead him into deep water he’d be able to float and get to safety. He also really enjoyed the exercise and evening in the pool. I noticed he slept better on the days he had lessons and seemed calmer as well. I’m so thankful for this potentially life saving program! I look forward to the day when there is a JAAR aquatics center where he and his peers can practice water resilience regularly. Thank you again Alix and team for all of your hard work!" - Tiffany Rosenbrock
"The program is one of its kind and I am thankful our community is going to benefit from this. The instructors are patient, kind and willing to work diligently keeping your child's individual needs and pace in mind! Highly recommend the @JAAR program!" - Meenakshi Kathuria
"Eryn was my child's teacher. She was great interacting with him and displayed patience allowing him to enjoy exploring in the pool while also motivating him to learn new things! He has had such a great time with lessons and we have seen SO MUCH improvement in his skills and confidence in the water. Our family is so happy we found your program and think your mission is so important. Thank you for what you do for families like us! It has been wonderful! We will speak nothing but wonderful things of the JAAR program! Thanks again!" - Jordin Hoefler
“Alix Jordan, has proven to be an outstanding instructor, going above and beyond to ensure that S. receives the best possible instruction and guidance. She took the time to get to know S. and understand his strengths and weaknesses in the water, tailoring lessons to meet S.'s specific needs. Alix's approach is methodical, yet fun and engaging, which has helped S. feel confident and excited about learning. She is patient, encouraging, and always willing to provide additional support and guidance when needed. S. has made remarkable progress under Alix's tutelage and has developed a newfound love for swimming. She’s truly a standout teacher and we feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with her.” - Tony Alvarez
Eryn, I honestly was blown away by the progress M. made in the short period of time he was in the program. M. has always had high sensory processing issues, so water in his face has been a no. I am happy to say after the five weeks swimming with Eryn, M. was diving for rings in the pool as well as swimming across the pool, with his face / head consistently underwater. The instructor also encouraged us to further pursue swimming for M.. He loved it. All around amazing program! Ty ❤️ - Jessica Herrera
"My child had a wonderful experience with Alix and is much more confident and skilled than when she began. I would definitely recommend the program to all children who have special needs. The program far exceeded what I had expected!" - Anonymous feedback (Sessions 6/7)
"This program is AMAZING Alix is the best! She is so amazing with our neurodivergent kiddos. She gets it." - Melanie Huskey-Griffin
"Loved this program! Working with our 17-year-old on water safety skills is critical, and they made great progress within a few sessions!” – Sara Hague
"Alix had the skills and patience to work effectively with my son. She obviously just enjoys it which makes her a great instructor too!" - Anonymous feedback (Session 5)
"I love working at JAAR! Alix is a great director and I feel blessed to work with the kids she has introduced me to. This has been a wonderful learning experience for me and I can’t wait to see what else JAAR accomplished in the future!" – Claire Ridgeway
C., 14: “Swimming was good. I can swim better now. Floating was hard, but I got good at the end. It was fun!”
A., 13: “When I took regular swim classes, I didn’t learn anything. The water was cold and deep and the other kids learned to swim faster than me. When I did swim classes with Alix and Eryn, it was better. It wasn’t loud and the pool was nice. I learned to swim with them and feel more comfortable in the water. I could even hold my breath longer than anyone in my family now! My parents were surprised that I can swim better and I’m not even afraid to go to the deep end anymore. Thank you!”
J., 17: "See I like swimming in the water. I learned good safety. I felt excited because I can swim better."
A., 7: “Swim class with Eryn was so much fun! I liked the toys and getting to go under water to find them. The hot tub was good too! Some parts were scary, like when I had to learn to float or when I had to go in the deeper water, but I learned to do it and now I’m not scared all the time.”
M., 4: "Swimming is so fun. My favorite is underwater and the bubble bath [jacuzzi]!"
A., 8: "I'm having so much fun. Thank you sooooo much. This is the best time of my life! P.S., Good job.
P., 9: Dear Eryn and Alix, Thank you for teaching us to swim. I never knew how to swim on my back. I will miss you all so much. I love to swim all different ways. I hope I will see you some time (after swim lessons). I love freestyle, swimming on my back, and pizza arms. I will write a book for you both! :)
P., 9 (same as above): "I love to swim. Swimming was hard to do without floaties, but when I went to swim lessons I got better at swimming. Now I know how to swim without floaties. I love my swimming lessons, especially my swim teacher."
In August 2023, after almost two years of no success accessing appropriate swim lessons for my autistic 5-year-old son, I saw an ad for JAAR on Facebook and reached out immediately to share more about my son and my longing for him to learn to swim. As a life-long swimmer, I didn’t only want my son to be safe around water, I wanted him to learn to swim, and be able to garner the joy and health benefits swimming has to offer throughout his life.
Alix, JAAR’s Executive Director and Head Instructor, responded quickly to my message indicating she would love to welcome my son, Benny, into the JAAR program. The program offered some flexibility in days and times to attend twice-a-week swim lessons. We had the earliest slot from 4:20-4:50 PM on Monday and Thursdays. Our direct support worker brought Benny to and from lessons on many of the days. Alix’s training in accessible education and her passion for coaching kids with disabilities were obvious from the start. She and my son literally jumped right in—Alix met Benny where he was each day and balanced Benny’s favorite pool movements (e.g., going under water) with new water safety skills like back float and moving himself along the wall of the pool. Alix was a quick learner of Benny’s unique modes of communication and was able to honor his autonomy while also challenging him to grow.
The JAAR program employs a novel instructional system that scaffolds kids’ learning of basic water comfort and safety skills to stroke techniques. The number of skills a kid acquires through the six-week program varies by kid and their starting skillset, but progress is consistent across all kids and Alix has the data to prove it. My son mastered 25 new skills in JAAR (16 skills is the average across their first 20 students)! This little program, which is free to the families it serves, is doing everything in its power to fill a giant gap in the provision of appropriate life-saving swim services for kids with disabilities in the Eugene/Springfield area. There are many families like ours in this community who were not receiving equitable services until JAAR came along. I highly recommend the program and, for those with resources, to support the program financially so JAAR can continue to create a more inclusive community.
Jerry Adams Aquatics Resilience Program
3095 Kincaid Street I Eugene, OR 97405
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