‘Swim Team,’ a Documentary About Young Athletes With Autism, to Air on ‘POV’

By Mark Walsh — October 02, 2017 1 min read

“Swim Team,” a documentary about young people with autism who compete for a New Jersey swim team, appears Monday night on the public television show “POV.”

The film by director and producer Lara Stolman received strong reviews when it appeared in film festivals and during a short theatrical release earlier this year. It airs at 10 p.m. Eastern time on Oct. 2, but check local listings.

(The folks at POV sent me a screener, but I unfortunately experienced some glitches trying to watch it over the past few days. I’m going to blame my own Internet connection rather the screening link.)

Still, from the few minutes I was able to watch, and from everything else I’ve seen and read about this film, it seems like a valuable effort to showcase a sports team for young men with developmental disabilities that is helping them both in school, in family life, and in personal growth.

“Children with developmental disabilities are routinely excluded from community activities, often as early as preschool,” Stolman says in press materials. “Being told ‘no,'—your child can’t be in the regular class, your child won’t keep up in Little League, your child isn’t going to college—is something families caring for children with disabilities hear often.”

“Since children on the [autism] spectrum are particularly prone to drowning, swimming is a crucial skill, but it’s not easy to find appropriate teachers and programs willing to take on an autistic child,” Stolman added in the materials.

She found the Jersey Hammerheads, a team for students with autism, which was founded by Mike McQuay Sr. and his wife, Maria, whose son, Mikey Jr., in the film is 17 and close to the end of his high school years. Other featured swimmers are 16-year-old Robert Justino and 22-year-old Kelvin Truong, who has aged out of school district services.

“When I’m swimming, I feel normal,” Mikey says during the film.

Stolman also produced this roughly 8-minute version of her documentary in 2015:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Education and the Media blog.

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Elementary Teacher - Scholars Academy
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read