“They told my mom we would never be able to swim”
Layla Crehan is on a mission to give all kids and special needs individuals the opportunity to take swim lessons. The teenager from Pembroke Pines, Florida attended the Special Olympics’ 50th Anniversary event as the National Ambassador for the Baby Otter Andre Dawson Swim School. There, she gave an inspiring speech about why everyone deserves access to life-saving swim lessons that can prevent drowning.
The Baby Otter Swim School has had a profound impact on Layla’s life. She has autism, and for the first five years of her life, was non-verbal, unable to communicate with words. Her family had a tough time finding swim schools that could accommodate her special needs, and her parents were told she’d never be able to learn to swim. However, when they found the Baby Otter Swim School, then 5-year-old Layla and her brother easily took to the water, and she learned how to swim in less than a week!
Today, Layla is among Florida’s most decorated Special Olympic swimmers, participates in skiing and paddle boarding and speaks out against bullying in and around her South Florida community.
Watch below as she shares her inspiring story!