As posted last Friday I talked about our fears as parents of disabled children. One of biggest and greatest fears are not just seen in the disability community but alas is a fear seen all over…….the fear of our precious babies drowning. However, getting lessons for our kids on the spectrum or those with other disabilities is sometimes very hard to find. A new company called Sensory Swim isn’t just a company, it’s a lifestyle. They offer a new way for your children to interact with their environment. I could see so many possibilities for this new idea of sensory integration, ranging from reducing the children’s fear of showers and baths to teaching the children lifesaving water skills. Please continue to read to enjoy an introduction from the team themselves over at Sensory Swim about what their program is all about!
Sensory Swim is so much more than a special needs swim program. It is a tailored-made program to meet the needs of the individual taking lessons.
When I teach each student on a one-on-one basis, I remember what they are working on outside of the pool. It may be speech, motor skills, or other goals their parents and therapists may have set for them. Each lesson is different because each day is different with a child with special needs. If the child has ADHD or anxiety issues, a difficult day at school may have stressed them out. If that is the case, my goal is to first get the child to relax and then work from there. There is no sense in trying to teach a child to swim who is bound up with anxiety or who has had a meltdown in school. If the child loves the water and has lots of extra energy, my focus would be completely different.
There are some children that have social issues that if they could, they would glue themselves to a computer all day long and remain sedentary. With these children, it is imperative that they exercise. So the Sensory Swim program agenda would be to get the child moving and having fun while doing it.
It is very tricky to balance fun, learning, safety and compassion simultaneously. That is why after years of experience in working with these children and some adults with special needs, I never have a cookie-cutter approach. I love each student I work with in a very individual way. My understanding grows as to their personality and what is needed at each lesson. There are never two lessons that are conducted the same way – because the child is never the same from day to day. What is so exciting is the progress that is made by these students and how much they enjoy the praise from me and their parents – or those who happen to be watching.