EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

January 28, 2013

Swimmer with autism a boost to Pinkerton

(Continued)

“He would just stay there (in pools) all day if he could,” Michele said, adding that her son swam recreationally and never took lessons to learn technique.

Natali did run cross country in middle school. But he was cut from the high school squad. Wanting to be a part of a team, he and his mom wondered what sport would fit him best.

“So a friend of my daughter’s who actually used to swim for (Faszewski) years before, she is the one who said Carson should try out for swimming,” Michele said.

All the rest is history. His improvement allowed him to swim in the final meet of last season.

“I’m pretty good with freestyle and my butterfly this year has improved,” Natali said. “My flip turns have really improved. My diving is getting better — my starts.”

Practicing every day for two hours isn’t easy.

“Of course it can be pretty exhausting day after day but it’s good exercise,” Natali said. “At least I’m not home being fat and lazy.”

Natali not only works hard in the pool but also in the classroom. His studies include practical math, U.S. History, meteorology, health and computer class.

“In some classes I always needed help because there’s some things I basically couldn’t do by myself and figure out by myself,” said Natali who has Aids in his class to help him with work whenever he is struggling with it. “I’m sure there’s people out there in the real world that have autism and they still need help.”

Natali has been on the honor roll every term at Pinkerton.

“He works very diligently,” Michele said. “He will come right home from swimming, take a shower, and then start his homework immediately. And he never has to be asked twice to do anything. ... He is very consciousness of making sure everything is done ahead of time. If the deadline is Friday, he’ll do it by Wednesday.”

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