Thursday, July 4, 2013

She Swims!!

A big fear of mine for a very long time has been Laurie's attraction to water.  The person who diagnosed her said the most important thing we could do for her was to have her learn how to swim...complete with being able to get out of the pool fully clothed.  So, we had Laurie participate in aquatherapy and Special Olympics swimming, and would often take her to the pool, but she's never had formal lessons.  Mostly she would just wear her life vest and would just bob along in the pool quite happily.  Until recently, she had not been showing the ability to really listen and follow directions, so we weren't sure how to approach the whole "learn to swim" thing.  Plus, I had not been able to find a place that had lessons for special needs kids.  

Then suddenly, Laurie started running away from our house (elopement is common with kids on the spectrum...that's a story for another time).  We don't live far from a river, and our neighbor has a pool that isn't exactly "Laurie-proof."  So...panic time!!  No, not really, but it was time for yet more conversations with family and friends about how to handle swimming.  And it was time for another round of phone calls to the local swim clubs.  And this time we had success!  The Boys and Girls Club has an amazing aquatics director who really listened to my concerns, and she worked it so that Laurie will have someone assigned just to her for the summer swim sessions.  And then they have Adaptive Aquatics during the school year.  Score!  Laurie's all signed up!

The day before her lessons began, the hubs had taken the girls swimming, and he purposely did not put Laurie's life vest on her.  Who was freaked out just a little?  But by the end of their time in the pool, Laurie was able to doggy-paddle herself 5 feet or more to the side of the pool.  Who knew?  It was awesome.  

At swim lessons, she's paired with this awesome instructor named Mackenzie.  Mackenzie has been able to get Laurie to swim.  All she has to do is merely suggest that Laurie put her face in the water, and Laurie will swim away from her.  Seriously.  But when she's not paddling away from her instructor, Laurie is willing to be pulled along on her back, and will kick her feet (who doesn't love the huge splashes that ensue?).

She loves playing with the pool noodles.   

And she's able to swim across the pool partly with assistance, and partly on her own...always in an upright position (there's no putting her face in the water, remember?).

So we're thrilled.  It's taken our anxiety about pools down a 1/4 notch.  I know that we have a few extra seconds now.  And that could make all the difference in the world.

1 comment:

  1. Wow - she's doing great swimming! Who knows, she might just love swimming and it sure is tiring!!!