Swimming Beyond Autism: One Team's Impressive Journey Captured on Film

Jersey Hammerheads

The Jersey Hammerheads is a swim team based in New Jersey with one goal in mind: to dedicate their lives to training, competing, and winning championships -- in the Special Olympics and the USA Special Olympics games.

What makes this team unique is that it's composed of 15 young boys and teens who have autism -- and who are mostly Asians and Hispanics, cultural backgrounds that often have less autism support.

A new feature-length documentary called Swim Team will focus on the Jersey Hammerheads and showcase Michael McQuay (Coach Mike) and his wife, Maria, the special-needs parents who created the team for their own son and for others like him.

The movie will also follow three teens -- Mike Jr., Robert, and Kelvin -- and their parents, as they work "to define identities beyond disability" and figure out their roles along the spectrum together.

"These kids have the potential. They just need extra help," says Robert's mom, Rosa.

Lara Stolman, the film's director, is still trying to raise enough funds to finish editing and producing the film for release. Learn more about the film at www.swimteamthefilm.com and to watch a trailer.

Sherry Huang is a Features Editor for Parents.com. She loves collecting children's picture books and has an undeniable love for cookies of all kinds. Her spirit animal would be Beyoncé Pad Thai. Follow her on Twitter @sherendipitea.

Photo of the Jersey Hammerheads from SwimTeamtheFilm.com

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