Hey everyone! Summer is in full swing and so are the outdoor activities that come along with it. These obviously include sports, camping, or swimming. The latter of these is what I wanted to talk about today, as the process of teaching my sister how to swim is something that we have put a lot of effort into and ongoing. Almost all the credit for working towards this endeavour has to go to my mother who persisted in taking Anjali to lessons, buying needed equipment, and staying patient in her development as a swimmer. It’s no small task!
Anjali first started attending swim lessons around the time I was done swimming and moved onto other sports. The swim school I was going to has an extensive history of producing olympians and had a world-class facility. Included at this facility were classes for special needs children. I highly suggest at least trying swimming for any special needs children in your family, as it is an excellent energy release, and can possibly even develop into a passion for the child!
These were two major reasons that pushed my parents to enroll Anjali in these classes. Her development as a swimmer was very slow, which we completely expected. We had a rather realistic timeline for her growth as a swimmer, as we understood that a special needs child of such a young age will take a few months to grow accustomed to water, let alone learn to float or kick! She started off well in the classes but eventually her progress plateaued. My mother was starting to run out of patience, as Anjali wasn’t focused at all during the classes. Despite showing promise in a few of her classes, we eventually realized that this class was not going to work for her, as her progress was extremely minute and underwhelming.
The only option my mother had now was to take her out of those classes and take a more hands on approach for the situation. Along with Anjali’s classmate and his parent, my mother decided to start private classes for her. This involved having someone assist the teacher in the pool, in order to get Anjali to stay focused for the whole lesson. Private classes are currently ongoing on for Anjali, and she has benefited from them, though time will tell if these classes can be sustained in the long run.
The moral of our experience with Anjali’s swim classes is that persistence and patience is the key for involving and helping a special needs child at swimming, or any other extra-curricular activity. Such activities are excellent for a special needs child, and it is crucial to have the child try a few of them, but not pressurize them if they take time to develop the skills needed. Through patience and practice they will eventually show promise and growth with the activity. Who knows, maybe it can even be a hobby or profession they take into adulthood?