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Sensory issues - question about school

(8 Posts)
tink123 Wed 24-Aug-11 21:06:49

My dd is 8 yrs old and has sensory issues and anixety. She has seen an OT for four years and has made excellent improvements, so much so she no longer goes.

She is going into yr 4 and they are starting swimming lessons. She is getting very anxious about going as she does not like to be in swimming costumes. She won't even wear shorts or dresses at home due to sensory issues.

I was wondering if anyone else keeps their children from doing school activities and whether is school is ok about it. She is doing fab at school and has made such amazing progress, I do not want her going backwards for the sake of two hours swimming per week.

She is on school action plus.

Chummybud1 Wed 24-Aug-11 21:12:40

My dd2 is allergic to chlorine in water so also can't go swimming, the school are very understanding. They will know your daughter has difficulties and should compromise with you.

My son has sensory issues and hates loud noises, he doesn't take part in PE in the main gym hall, nor does he go swimming, or outings to busy places.

It can be difficult but in schools teachers have to work around a whole range of needs.

Would your dd wear a wet suit as the swimming pool may allow it under these circumstances.

Speak to school and the swimming pool to see if anything can be worked out

tink123 Wed 24-Aug-11 21:18:57

She won't even show the bottom of her legs. The school have been fab and luckily her new teacher is also the new SENCO so should know all about her little quirks.

Maybe if she hears the other kids are having fun, she may join in at some point and want to go smile

Chummybud1 Wed 24-Aug-11 22:08:08

Maybe she could go along as a spectator

Claw3 Wed 24-Aug-11 22:13:32

Ds has sensory issues and severe anxiety. Any new experience for him has to be introduced very gradually.

He has phobias about lots of things, exposing his skin is one and water is another. His first swimming experience was in a sensory pool which he had all to himself which was ideal, it took 3 days to get him into the pool. 1st day we just looked at the pool, 2nd day he touched it with his hand, 3rd day he got in, fully clothed, but he got in!! Once in he loved it and didnt want to get out!

I then heard about a 6 week course of free swimming lessons in my area, I explained his difficulties to the instructor and he was allowed to get in with his clothes on and we worked towards removing items each week, by the end of the 6 weeks, he was going in wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

He even went into the sea at the weekend (fully clothed) but still progress!

Perhaps school could do something similar for your dd?

anonandlikeit Thu 25-Aug-11 00:03:20

ds2 has asd, learning difficulties & all the sensory & anxiety stuff that often goes with.
I never insist he is exempted from any school activity, I send him prepared, ask the school to try & to see how he copes, he does need to be pushed a little as otherwise he will always opt out.
But i trust the school to encourage him without forcing him & causing him too much stress.

I guess you need to discuss your concerns with the school & agree a plan of action

IndigoBell Thu 25-Aug-11 11:31:54

You have to give permission for them to go swimming.

I didn't give it (and explained why) and they were 100% fine with it.

There will always be some kids who forget their costumes or have a cold etc, so there will always be provision for non-swimmers.

Then when DS did decide he wanted to go swimming they rang up the ASD outreach team and got some advice about it.....

auntevil Thu 25-Aug-11 11:46:00

My DS - going into yr 4 as well - has dyspraxia and sensory issues, but the complete reverse, not hyper, but hypo sensitive.I've taken him swimming since he was a few months old - as i have done with all of mine. In 8 years of lessons he has finally managed 25m [do they have a hallelujah emoticon?]
I kind of think i would go with chummybud's idea. It will be a very new experience just going to the swimming pool - the trip (do they walk/coach or on site?) the echo sound, the smell, the temperature etc is sensory overload in itself. Maybe see how she copes with that - without suggesting that she go swimming.
A friend of mine had problems with her DS and went as a helper. That way she could be there on the spot if there was meltdowns etc. It was also a safety net for him as well as he knew she was there.
Is there a spectators area - because you could go there to be on hand regardless of whether the school approved.
What will your dd be doing whilst the rest of the class are out?

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