Enjoy these warming words from recent guests who dived with Emperor Marsa Alam and whose autistic son proved that scuba is for everyone!
The family has asked that their identities be kept private, and we respect this.
“Emperor for special needs children. I am so glad that my love for scuba diving has brought our family together ...
Teaching scuba is fun but takes effort. Teaching scuba to a special needs child who just makes the age limit takes special people. Those people are Emperor Divers!
This is a success story! It is a dream come true because of the Emperor dive team.
Before going to Marsa Alam I contacted Luke (Atkinson) of Emperor Divers regarding getting our son, who has special needs, certified. Luke took the time to fully understand the challenges and didn't jump at the chance for a client but really examined all aspects of the needs of our son and the extra work Emperor would have to put forth to make this happen.
Luke suggested the online learning which was perfect for our son and we had a week to complete the entire open water text book course and pass the tests. It worked out great and we suggest if you are new to diving, do the online course as Luke suggested to save precious dive time.
Emperor found the perfect teacher for our son and she was there for him the entire time. Mirjam was so kind, she remained calm, explained things in a way our son could understand and put up with his diverted attention and short span. She was our one to one teacher for the entire time. She has a lifetime of dive experience and the patience of a saint.
Things didn't go as planned and it took an extra day to get our son certified. During the extra day, Luke again went the extra mile and got my son in the pool with scuba gear! This was a huge step and because of that he is going to get certified!
Emperor picks you up in very clean and air conditioned vans, their facilities are kept spotless clean, the gear is the best on the market and the staff care for each and every client.
We will return to Marsa Alam and when we do, we will be diving with Emperor Divers as a family of certified divers.
If you are the parent or care giver of a special needs person and are interested in scuba, contact Luke. He evaluates the person carefully and will do all he can. If it is possible, he and his team do all they can."
From this, we followed through with our guests to find out more of their experience. Please read on for their heart-warming story of success…
Why did you choose Marsa Alam?
We chose Marsa Alam for several reasons. We wanted a close airport with transportation. We don't like crowds, we are family people and don't go for the night life. We needed to know that we would be safe. I wanted a nice reef with clean water and we wanted to get our son certified. I wanted sun and warmth in nice sand. Marsa Alam met all these needs and more.
I had been thinking about Egypt for a long time. Marsa and a few other places were recommended. I ended up on the TripAdvisor Marsa Alam forum and noticed that Luke was the voice of reason. He gave clear answers to questions based on actual fact from him living and working in Marsa.
Luke earned my respect from his posts and information. It was then that I noticed he had something to do with Emperor Divers. That led to more reviews and research. I trust TA even though it is a numbers game. I wrote to Luke and he was quick to respond. He took the time to get to know our family and our son's situation; asked questions and we emailed back and forth for about two weeks before we both agreed that our son could take the class. Luke offered the suggestion of online learning for the textbook and it was great. He scored very high and took his studies seriously.
What problems did you encounter with regard to special needs?
We went to Abu dive sight for a dive and some skills. One of the skills was for our son to take off his mask. He did this and went into a complete panic. Up he went and out of the water. There was nothing that could be done to get him back in. He wrapped himself in a towel and went to sleep. Mirjam was wise enough to not push at this point. On Thursday, we went back to the pool. Again our son panicked but this time, calmly, she helped him get under control. I then took the time to take off my mask and get it back on. I broke it down into steps and came up with a plan. As a team, with his teacher, we went back under and used my 6-step breathing approach. It worked! We were all so happy for him and that we found a solution.
Again, this is just an example of how Emperor Divers’ team was able to stop and realize that we had to find solutions that were out of the ordinary. For each challenge we all worked to find solutions. Our son's certification took more time than usual, more creative out of the box thinking, and more effort. Yet Emperor Divers never quit, they wanted success as much as our son did.
And future diving holidays?
When we return to Marsa Alam, we will be a family that will dive together. I am so glad that my love for scuba diving has brought our family together. I am more grateful that Emperor Divers took a big chance; they took a 10 year old autistic child and taught him the skills to be a scuba certified diver.