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Swimming lessons.

(4 Posts)
MissBetsyTrotwood Thu 09-Jun-11 19:19:29

DS2 has been diagnosed with a severe balance disorder (possibly linked to his hearing loss.) He mustn't put his head underwater at all as he won't be able to find his way up again. He's only 2.10 but I want him to start swimming lessons as soon as possible, for obvious reasons! Sadly, the consultant he sees has lost several child patients with this disability to drowning through the years sad .

The only problem is, from my limited experience of children's swimming lessons, most of the class is spent encouraging them to put their heads below water. So, somehow, I'm going to find the money for him to have private lessons.

I don't know where to start. I asked DS1's teacher and she just looked back blankly. I really want to find a swimming teacher sensitive to the challenges he's facing.

So, I guess my question is where to begin? Can anyone help?

beautifulgirls Thu 09-Jun-11 20:12:50

Is there a support group for the problems that your son has, and if so perhaps they may be able to point you in the right direction? Have you talked to any swimming teachers locally to explain the situation to them and see if they are able to offer any suitable classes that will not require him to learn to put his face in the water at all?

MissBetsyTrotwood Thu 09-Jun-11 20:18:40

There is one support sheet for this condition in the NDCS website... and that's all as far as I can tell. The consultant did say there was not much out there. It's pretty rare as far as I can tell.

We first noticed it when he didn't walk. He still can't walk more than several paces without a wobble or a trip. He'll never be able to walk in the dark without falling over, or go underwater.

I should have said in my original post it was my older son's swimming teacher I mentioned it to! Not his class teacher! Maybe I should contact the NDCS and see if they can help.

madwomanintheattic Thu 09-Jun-11 23:37:50

i would just speak with different local pools - dd2 had a 1-1 alongside her in the normal kids swimming lesson (for other reasons, but still) the 1-1 would be able to do different things during that part of the lesson. at his age you would be in the water with him anyway, though, wouldn't you?

are you envisaging that long term he would swim independently with flotation device? or that he would always be under 1-1 supervision? i assume with goggles he would be able to learn to identify 'up' with brighter light? difficult in a well-lit pool, but worth thinking about for accidents with rivers/ ponds etc. he wouldn't have his goggles, but if he'd 'learnt' about it in a safe environment then instinct might kick in should he fall? just thinking aloud really...

you are quite correct about the insistence on little kids getting used to putting their heads under water though. in your son's case he obviously needs to be taught the opposite!

we are having a similar issue with dd2 - due to her retained reflexes if she swims using her arms, her head goes underwater and she can't lift it... so i suspect this summer we'll be trying to work that one out. grin she's 7 though.

sn swimming is a bit of a minefield, with not many experienced teachers.

wishing you luck x

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