Liam Spence, 14 has swum with KUHSC for four and a half years. Liam was diagnosed with Audi Processing Disorder in August following several months of assessment.
(APD is term for a variety of disorders that affect the way the brain processes auditory information. Individuals with APD usually have normal structure and function of the outer, middle and inner ear; however, they cannot process the information they hear in the same way as others do which leads to difficulties in recognizing and interpreting information. Liam struggles to deal with every day task in a way most of us take for granted)
I just wanted to represent my disability to show it doesn’t stop you achieving your goals.
KUHSC Coach Graham Martin has supported and advised Liam and his parents throughout the process. Liam had to be assessed first by a Disability Access Coach from the ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) He was then referred to an independent Dr in Leeds who scored Liam well within the APD criteria. He then had to undergo further testing and assessment from experts at Loughborough University who then forwarded all their conclusions onto INAS in Germany (INAS support para-athletes with Intellectual disability worldwide) where a half dozen specialist examined the data.
Liam was given his disability swimming category as S14 and swam his first Disability Gala in Harrogate in September in the North of England Championships. He swam alongside Olympian Joseph Craiff which gave him the incentive and determination to show off his abilities. Liam took gold in the 400m & 200m freestyle and bronze in 100m, 50m freestyle and 100m breaststroke. He has qualified for the British Championships in Manchester in December and will be heading to Glasgow in April 2016.
Liam is very proud but modest about what he has achieved so far and when asked about his achievements he said “I just wanted to represent my disability to show it doesn’t stop you achieving your goals”.