About The Infant Swim Stress Research Project - My Personal Project of Passion!

Research Title

Investigating Biological and Behavioral Markers of Stress in Infant Toddler Swim And Self-Rescue Lessons

Current Status

Seeking an Australian University to partner with Harvard University (Torsten Klengel) to progress the study

Torsten Klengel, MD, PhD

  • Director, Translational Molecular Genomics Laboratory

    • Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Chronology of the Project

2016, October: Attendance at the Australian Childhood Foundation Conference in Melbourne, with a view to connecting with leading child trauma researchers to discuss the  issue of forced participation in infant toddler swim lessons. This led to a number of significant conversations with leading trauma researchers in attendance including Stephen Porges, Dan Hughes, Jon Baylin and Ed Tronick.   In particular, a lengthy conversation took place with Martin Teicher MD, PhD who expressed grave concerns and a keen interest to assist. Subsequently I was invited to Boston to give a presentation to Dr Teicher and a group of his colleagues on the matter, including Dr Klengel.

2017, March: Travel to Harvard University, Boston to present on the issue and attend a number of meetings to discuss the situation further. My trip was partially financially supported by voluntary contributions from a  number of ASSA member swim schools.  As a result of the meetings, Dr Teicher and his colleagues proposed a plan for undertaking a Program of research, investigating a number of areas of child development and involving a number of leading researchers.

2018, August: Presentation at the inaugural WIAC (World Infant Aquatic Congress) titled, The Harvard Experience: World-Leading Science for Trauma Free Swimming Lessons, to share about the purpose of the trip, and the proposed study.  At this time the research had not commenced due to other priorities.