June Dime in Time: Swimming Under the Stars with Families Together

On July 29, families with children with disabilities are encouraged to attend a swim party at the Hamilton-Lowe Aquatic Center in Moscow, Idaho. The swim party is free and everyone is encouraged to bring a snack to share.

Dime in Time funds from June will be used for the pool party and assistive devices that will be handed out at the party. The center is located at 830 North Mountain View Road. The Family Unity Recreation Activity (FURA) program will provide families with the most difficult children an opportunity to increase family unity through recreation. Parents will be able to network with other parents and observe healthy family interactions in a relaxed, recreational setting. Specific activities build unity and cohesion as they are inclusive of all family members.

Families who have a child with a disability are a very vulnerable population. They have few opportunities to strengthen their family unity due to the difficult behaviors of their child. “…it is not the child’s disability that handicaps and disintegrates families; it is the way they react to each other” (Dickman & Gordon, 1985, p. 109)

The Family Unity Recreation Activity includes and supports vulnerable populations by helping families include their children with a disability into family activities and by providing support to families with information and activities that enhance family cohesiveness. Families need support to cope with the daily stress and maintain cohesiveness.

Marsha Seltzer, PhD., of the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin found parents of children with disabilities had a greater number of stressors and a higher number of days where they had at least one stressor. In an interview with Scene Newspaper (www.scenenewspaper.com), Dr. Seltzer stated, “Families can’t be left alone to do this on their own. The service system has to be in partnership with the families.”

Families that are given supports and positive role models can change over time. It is our hope that vulnerable populations will be strengthened through our programs, and that abusive behaviors will decrease as families are supported through healthy recreation.

Families Together is a nonprofit organization that believes family involvement and support are essential for individuals with disabilities to reach their potential and maintain a life that is secure and meaningful. Families Together’s programs are designed to build and sustain strong, healthy, informed, and actively involved family members who can work together to improve the lifelong outcomes for their child or sibling with a disability. Contact Denise by calling 208-874-7891 or email denise@familiestogether.org if you have questions.