Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Yellow Seahorse

Two boys were registered in swimming lessons. One passed, and one didn't.

I bet it's not the one you think -- so I'll back up a bit.

Months ago, we registered the kids for swimming lessons. This isn't new for Rio, but it is for the boys. They have only taken one set of lessons before - a parent participation class. But now that they are old enough to be in the water on their own that proved a little bit tricky. After discussing with the pool, it was decided that we'd register the boys in a regular class but Jordan or I would go in the pool with Asher.

Now before I continue, let me just say we had no expectations for Asher. Don't get me wrong, we know the kid loves water and would do his best to keep up, but we didn't really figure this a pass/fail venture. We kind of thought we'd continue to register him along with Nolan until it became no longer feasible and then we'd reevaluate a swim program that would better meet Asher's needs. For the time being, this was about Asher getting into the pool and having some fun.

Well, let's fast forward to the present day and Asher absolutely rocked the swimming lessons. I am pretty sure it's fair to say he was the best "swimmer" in his class (the term swimmer used lightly when they are concentrating on blowing bubbles and doing assisted floats). He was excited, attentive, and did everything that was asked of him. It was certainly helped by the fact that we ended up with an absolutely excellent teacher. Not only did she take his disability in stride, I think she actually thrived with the challenge of adapting the class to fit his needs and allow him to excel.

Nolan, on the other hand, is lacking confidence in the water. Sure, he was as excited as Asher, but when listening is not your strong suit, combined with anxiety about putting your face in the water, that made the class a little bit challenging for him. Additionally, it never crossed my mind that Nolan's CP would factor in once he got into the water, but it turned out that when he was nervous his tone really kicked in - more so than I normally see on land. (That pesky CP - never know how it's going to show itself at any given moment). So while Asher was given the go ahead to move up to the next class, Nolan was encouraged to try these lessons over again until he could master all of the skills every time they were asked of him.

Since they are now at different levels, which is a logistical nightmare, we've decided to pull them from lessons for the time being and concentrate on taking them to public swims and working on Nolan's confidence. In the fall we'll look at registering them in private lessons so the teacher can work with both boys on their specific strengths.

I am so proud of both of them (and big sister who passed her set too), but more importantly learned a lesson. I can never, ever underestimate what Asher may be capable of. Ever. It's good to be reminded of that sometimes.


  1. Go Asher!! I too have learnt that kids have to learn all over again about their bodies when they hit the water. Hopefully Nolan will gain some confidence and his body can relax and enjoy xxx

    1. Thx Bron, I think he will. His fears are very similar to Rio's at that age so I think it is just a question of him getting more comfortable. Now Rio is a fish, so I have no doubt he will be too!