Teaching With: ‘Go Hammerheads! Winning With Autism’

Children with disabilities often can’t participate in team sports. This film chronicles the Jersey Hammerheads, a swim team for kids with autism.

Comments: 43

  1. i was surprise when it said in the caption "children with disabilities often can't participate in team sports." i thought that disable people are allowed to participate in team sports but they choose not to participate. what i will take from this film is that disable people are capable of playing team sports just like everyone else.

  2. I felt the same way but it might be saying that kids with disabilities do not participate in team sports.

  3. i agree also with duncan because i felt that they did not want to try out because maybe that thought they would not fit in saying that children with disabilities often cant participate and they what he said he could take from this video is that everybody no matter their state should be able to do the same things as people with out it

  4. i was as surprise as you because i believed that all children depict their differences were allowed to play ant sport , i thought they just didn't try out. but now ill take away form this film that there just not allowed to.

  5. I think that it's a good thing that set up a team for kids with disabilities just because it gives them the feeling of not feeling like they are disabled and some of those children can't make the high school team or just a regular team so they wouldn't know how it feels to play a team sport. Also it's a good thing that Austins mom tried to sit down and talk to him about his disability so he did not learn from somebody making fun of him or telling him in a harsh way.

  6. I agree and making them play in a team can not only make them feel like they're not alone but help there outside skill.Like social or working in a team this can help there lives tumendesly and bing out there true self to others so they can see that there not so diffrent. These kids have goals in life,ambition and dreams like everyone else the only difference is that every day its a challenge for them. From not be able to work because of there disability or others putting them done they work hard like everyone else we need to give them a chance

  7. I agree fully with you, it doesn’t matter if you have a disability or not you can play a sport if that is what you want to do. There shouldn’t be a person telling you, that you can not. As long as you work hard at it you will get and and be the best at what you can do and go for nothing less. These kids inspire others to do what they think they can’t, because they have a disability, but the truth is you can do anything your mind tells you, you can. Whatever you say you want to do you can go ahead and at least try this video is proof to that.

  8. I think you're right about the team being a good thing, like Gianni said, it helps them not feel as alone and lets them actually have a hobby/interests that they have a passion for. I think everyone deserves to have that so I'm happy they have the chance thanks to those two parents who decided to get that chance for their son. Although about the mom trying to tell Robert that he was autistic, I disagree. I think it would've made more sense to tell him before because if he's already an 11th grader I'm more than sure he's met some awful children who have made fun of him already. It's good that she eventually decides it's time for him to know though.

  9. It's bad that they won't let kids in to sports because there autistic and its amazing that this team can give them this chance to be apart of life. Many people don't like different people and we make group are little groups so we can feel safe. These kids don't have that there sometimes hated because of what there are and doing this for them is amazing and can really show the world who they really are

  10. i thought in the video some things that stood out to me was when the mom had not told her kid that he is autistic which was shocking because i believed that he should have known earlier and now he is a junior in highschool and is different from everybody and doesn't know why i was also surprised that they had a special team team that competed with other teams also in the video that surprised me on how they took instruction so well i did not know much about autism but its helped me get a little bit of an idea of what being authentic means. However i liked the video and believe other people would like this video as well.

  11. i agree that the mother should have told him about his condition before his junior year because even though he might not know what autism is its important for someone to know why they are who they are. i also agree with how you were surprised with how well they took instruction. this shows that they are no different from us and they sometimes listen/ pay attention more than some athletes today. it also helps me understand how autism affects kids lives.

  12. I wasn't really shocked that the mother had not yet told her son about his autism. I think she knew how hard it would be on the both of them and she probably wanted him to feel as normal as possible as long as possible. I think he does somewhat know that he is different, but with the swimming and the encouragement from his mom and coach he probably just didn't let those thought stay on his mind for too long. They way that the boys took instruction well helped further argue that children with autism should be giving more opportunities to show what exactly they can do.

  13. To see all these kids working so hard at something they loved really inspires me, they don’t care about the things in their path just that they can get what they want to get done. Their coaches who teach with them and work with them on daily basis is really inspiring, because you have to have a certain mind basis to do that. I loved Robby he works hard in swimming and he swims for three different teams, he take his role as captain seriously and the way he encourages his team. I also love that he has a goal and sticks with it. I agree with the coach the government should provide funding and give them a chance.

  14. another moment that stood out to me in this film is how late his mom told him he was autistic. he was 17 years old, a junior in high school when his mom told him he was autistic. i believe this is important because he should of been told earlier that he was autistic so he could understand why he was different from others

  15. The choice of the mother could be supported in both sides. Your comment is basically the first side in which the mother should have told her son that he was autistic earlier so he could better understand what autism is and cope with the fact easier as he gets older. The counter argument is that the son might not have reacted well when told and could have been traumatized or act violently. In both sides, it's emotionally difficult for the mother to say something that's so difficult to deal with in the first place. Overall, though, I find your comment agreeable and that the mother should have told her son earlier.

  16. a moment that stood for for me was that the mother hadn't told her son that he is autistic but i also understand because the son didn't want to talk about anyways , that boy knew he is different but doesn't know how. a surprise for me was that her son Robbie is a junior is his high school but hes at a 4th grade level. i enjoyed that video because i love how there treating the kids just like everyone else , there giving them a chance and their finding ways for them to be in a team all together and i feel like everyone else.

  17. Something I found interesting from the video was that the team with only autistic swimmers was such a new idea. I would have thought that it would have been done many times before but realizing I was wrong and hearing that autistic kids are “often ostracized” made me realize that our society still doesn’t give people with disabilities the fair opportunities and respect they really deserve. After watching this I think I’ll remember more that although people with disabilities may have their own challenges, they’re still people who have hobbies/interests and goals, they may be different but we all are in some way and we’re also the same in others.

  18. The main moment that stood out to me in this video is the fact that Robert's mom did not inform him about his disability when he was younger and more open to hear things like this and now wants to tell him when he is a junior in high school and does not want to hear anything about why he is different from the kids around him. A surprise for me in the video was the fact that two adults decided to make a swim team for kids with disabilities so they can feel and participate in events that kids with no disabilities can participate in.

  19. One part of this film that stood out to me was when Robert’s mom asked if he ever noticed that he was different than everyone else and he said “They’re different.” Robert didn’t see it as he was different, he saw it as they were all different than him. Something that surprised me in this film though, was that Robert did not know that he was autistic. I was going to say that his mother should have told him but why? Then he would go through his life feeling different and being treated differently. Since his mom hasn’t told him, he feels as if he is normal. By telling him, it could cause him to feel different and feel less important. I think something we should all take from this video is to treat everyone as an equal. Don’t discriminate against disabled kids just because of their disability. They can do the same things we can with the correct teaching. They can win gold medals and be team captain just like you and I.

  20. The moments were the boys would work well as a team and had fun while swimming stood out the most to me. Despite their limitations, they are able to still do everyday things and as a united group they can actually improve and enjoy themselves. I was surprised to see that one of the boys refused to listen to his mother when she tried to explain his condition to him. I understand why that would be something very hard to hear and how it is frustrating to him. But I never really thought about kids with autism not wanting to be reminded or told that they are different. I guess that going through your entire life striving for something that you will never truly achieve can make you angry at those seemingly trying to excuse your limitations when you don't want them to hold you back. I think this film's message is that people need to make more of an effort to include kids with autism and not immediately place a limit on everything they think they can do. They should get the opportunity to showcase their skills and learn more skills.

  21. I agree, these kids have the ability to do thing that normal kids do. They try hard and strive for the things that they want. It is amazing to see the reality of these kids. They are not as different as people normally portrays autistic kids to be. These kids could be very successful, but they just need someone to guide them and give them a bit more help. It is very understandable when Robert refused to talk about him having autism. Robert, like many people, does not like to feel different. When he is in his swim team he does not feel like he is different. The team makes him feel welcome and treats him as a welcoming friend rather than an outcast. He is placed high in the midst of his friends and when his mom propose to talk about why he is different, he refused.

  22. Autistic kids have difficult lives, and so do their parents. They are often excluded out of things with “normal” kids, sports being one of the bigger groups that exclude them due to the physical impairment of autistic kids. Designing a sports team just for autistic kids is an excellent idea to include these excluded kids and form relationships they weren’t able to form in the past. When watching the video, one of the kids are not aware that they are autistic. It was a bit surprising to know but understandable. The idea of breaking the truth to an autistic person by having them participate in a group designed for the autistic is a smart and subtle way to revealing the truth to them.

  23. I agree with you, it's very painful to see a lot of them being left out. There's not much that they can do about these things but it is very nice of people to take that into consideration. I also agree with you that this was a very smart way of telling them, even if they do not realize that they are different now they will eventually find out but they would be grateful since people made them feel included instead of leaving them out because of their differences. Doing these great things really helps the community and it affects the lives of the autistic kids in a positive way.

  24. A great takeaway from this video is that even though there might be kids out there with disabilities that hinder them from doing things we consider "normal", they are still able to partake in activities with the same energy and commitment as those without. The kids on the Jersey Hammerheads swim team are participating in a sport they might have not been able to do had the team not been started. Programs such as this one should be an inspiration for others to start similar teams in their hometowns. Normally, kids with disabilities are ostracised in their daily lives and have no chance of participating in everyday activities. Having these programs allows them to branch out and meet new people and learn team working skills which will give them the chance they deserve to be just like everyone else.

  25. I agree with you. I like the fact that this teens can be participating on a sport like swimming. I like the fact that they made a swimming team for the group of autistic kids. I believe that there should be more teams like this to help students with disabilities be what they want to be in the future. This kids are able to do the same things as normal humans do. By creating more teams like this, special students are able to communicate better with other students.I hope this kids become what they want to be when they are adults.

  26. It was amazing that two people could really help all of these children even if they knew it would be very difficult. Even though all of these boys had autism, the two people who made this team did not let that get in the way of them doing something they loved. The boys were able to feel like they belonged because they were surrounded by people who had similar problems. I felt really sympathetic for Robert’s (one of the boys on the team) mom. She knew that it would be very difficult to tell him that he was different from the others. When she tried to tell him he refused to talk to it furthermore, which is rather heartbreaking. What surprised me is that Robert doesn’t let autism get in the way and he also thinks of himself as the captain of the team. He always motivates the team to get a gold medal and he inspires them with a great pep talk.

  27. I was very surprised how teens like this could be swimming champions. I think Robert could be the fastest swimmer one day. The thing that I like about Robert is that he does not get defied by autism, but he gets defied by what he does to be a champion. I got surprised when Robert beat the other boys in the swimming race. It does not matter what you have, you can still do things that other normal people do. Another moment that stood out to me is how Robert's mom tried to tell Robert that he had autism, but Robert did not want to know the truth.

  28. I agree with your statement about how these kids does not let their disability defied them which is an admirable characteristic. They does not seem to care that they were different instead they are confident in their ability to win the competition. These kids with autism have to work harder and struggle through many obstacles but they seem determined to reach their goals. The swim team appear to have a positive effect on them since some are able to almost lead other. I was also surprised that the mother have not talk to her son about his autism yet because it is a little late since he is almost finished with high school and becoming an adult.

  29. I too enjoy the fact that Robert does not let his disability define who he is and continues to work hard on his races. Him wanting to be a swim coach when he is older shows us that no matter what we think might define us and could possibly stop us from doing what we want, it all boils down to how much work we are willing to put into something. Robert might not have wanted to hear about his autism because he doesn't worry about it. Being concious of his autism won't stop him from being affected by it and as far as he knows, it doesn't matter.

  30. The kids in this film suffered from a disability but they were able to participate in a sport that they enjoyed. Even though the kids struggle with autism and have a hard time doing performing tasks people who are considered “normal” could, they still put in a lot of effort and succeeded. I was surprised that there was a swim team created especially to assist those with autism and allow them to compete with other groups. The team allow them to interact with people and gain experience to help them later in life. There should be more of these programs to give those with autism or other disabilities more opportunities to be involved in normal activities and live their life.

  31. The aspect of the film that stood out to me the most is the leadership within the group of autistic kids. It is amazing how Robert has such amazing leadership qualities and how well he is loved by his team in supporting them as well a providing to them the help they need to succeed. It surprised me to see how well rounded a group of autistic kids could be. I had never been around children with autism so I just figured that they would act a certain way but this group, especially Robert, prove my views on autism to be wrong in many ways. Being champion, these kids have shown that anything is very possible for anyone if they put their whole heart into it.

  32. All of the children on the Hammerheads have autism. They talk about children with disabilities in general, but they only let children with autism join the team. When Robert's mother tells us that she did not tell him that he had autism, I was confused. That kind of information would be important to know. If I were Robert and my mom asked me if I seemed different, I'd want her to tell me why she is asking those questions, not push them away. I will take away that no matter what your situation, as long as you want it bad enough, you can do anything.

  33. I agree with you. It is important for him to know that he is Autistic and his mom should have informed him earlier on.She shouldn't have him thinking that he is like the other kids when he isn't.She should teach him to embrace his difference and learn to live with it so he can learn to grow as his own person.

  34. @Brendan i agree with your statement about you being confused that Robert's mom has not wanted to tell him the he has autism. I feel as though she should have told him way before that he was different from everyone else. I think doing that would let him be able to understand thing more better and why things are the way they are. But at the same time I think it was a good thing she didn't tell him because he would not have been growing up thinking he wasn't good enough or was going to be the only differnt person.

  35. I also feel like I am going to be taking away the "you can do anything" vibe from this video but I think it is interesting that you are confused about Robert not wanting to know he is autistic. I feel like although we may think we want to know it would be easier to just live our lives in ignorance not having to address the difficult things so I understand why he would not want to know. Although, I do get why you would want to know because knowing would allow a person to face the obstacles and/or challenges in their life head on .

  36. I was surprised at how determined each of these kids were, they were all very content in their swimming competitions and practices and i admire that. I think that its so great that although these kids were inevitably paired with a disability, they still found something of interest and pursued it. In the film, it was said that Robert one day dreams of swimming faster than the well known, recording breaking, olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, which is so great to hear, I love that Robert can set a goal like that, and then work to achieve it.

  37. The fact that his mom didn't tell him that he is Autistic throughout his own life is what surprised me.I think he should have been told and it should have been explained to him so he has a clear understanding of what is going on with him.I think the Hammerheads is good for him, something for him to look for to and love.This video makes it evident that everyone has a talent and it pays off when that talent is practiced and you learn to excel in that talent.

  38. I feel like this swim team has opened up many doors for those children on the swim team. Now they can finally be on a team and make new friends on the team. The coach made a good decision making a team for them cause now other coaches might be inspired to make team for children with Autism.So basically that coach is setting a good example.The thing that stood out to me the most is that his mother still hasn’t talked to him about him having autism but the son seems like he doesn’t wanna believe it.

  39. A moment that stood out for me was that where Robert lives there isn't a lot
    of programs to to help him and other children with disabilities learn about the things that could help them with everyday life. This stood out for me because their are alot children that could get the support but there isn't any places that provide help. Also some surprises that i had was that Robert had a 4th grade reading level . i never really knew any of the effects of autism till now. Some of the emotions i take away from this is that people should really care about children with autism's education and purpose.

  40. I think it’s great having an activity they can do. I did not think that they were going to be able to what they did in the video to be honest. I do think that there is a problem with people trying to teach these people to swim. The idea is great, but no thanks. This is highly dangerous and I think others shouldn’t be there to help spot them in case something goes wrong. Gladly, there were people spotting, but what if someone doesn’t sometime?

  41. This video is very inspiring

  42. I think it’s great having an activity they can do. I did not think that they were going to be able to what they did in the video to be honest. I do think that there is a problem with people trying to teach these people to swim. The idea is great, but no thanks. This is highly dangerous and I think others shouldn’t be there to help spot them in case something goes wrong. Gladly, there were people spotting, but what if someone doesn’t sometime?

  43. My cousin has autism and it's really sad because some of these kids just wanna be normal but, nobody wanna be their friends so it's nice that they made a swim team for them