Volunteers are working with special needs children and adults in Lake County.

  • Scuba therapy helps special needs children and adults
  • The Scuba Gym is located in Clermont, Lake County
  • David Lawrence started The Scuba Gym because of his son

The volunteers work with The Scuba Gym to provide scuba therapy at the National Training Center in Clermont. The program is called SASP, or Special Adventures for Special People.

Shannon Vetter is one of the program's volunteers.

"It's amazing to see these divers go under there and accomplish things they couldn't do before," she said.

About two times per week, Vetter works with people who have neuro special needs like autism, MS, MD and Down syndrome.

"We go underwater and put weights on their legs and get them to use muscles that they couldn't use before," Vetter said.

David Lawrence started The Scuba Gym about nine years ago to help his son, also David, who was paralyzed from the neck down. Lawrence said his son can now walk and dive and is also a scuba instructor.

"They always wonder if this is really going to work, is this really going to help me — and all they have to do is look at David and they see him walk and do all those other things," Lawrence said.

Vetter got involved after doing scuba therapy following a car accident in which she injured her back. She said it's inspirational to see how the therapy works.

"I love diving," she said. "I've gotten a bigger love for diving since I started this and seeing them accomplish and be proud of what they're doing is huge."

​​​For more information, go to The Scuba Gym's website.