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Deaf friendly swimming lessons

(6 Posts)
katiegolightly Wed 26-Sep-12 21:38:27

My DD is 5.5 months and we've just started mum and baby swimming. It's not a problem for now us taking her hearing aids out as I'm holding her in the water the whole time. But when she is a little bigger and in swimming lessons without me, I wonder how she will get on with lessons when she can't hear the instructor.

Does anyone have any experience of this? I wonder if it may be worth finding a private swim teacher for a small group of the hearing impaired kids in my area - although one of the instructors I saw at the pool today said he had had deaf kids in his classes before, in general my local pool don't seem to know an awful lot about this and I have no idea how they would adapt a busy noisy class just for her.


SallyBear Wed 26-Sep-12 21:42:53

Two of mine are deaf. My DD had swim lessons in a small group of 6 children. She always managed. I just asked the instructor to make sure that she spoke at DD so that she could lip read. My DS seems to manage ok in a pool environment and he has ASD as well as being deaf.

geogteach Wed 26-Sep-12 21:50:40

I think this is a big issue. DS is 11 now and basically we got round it by changing teacher often till we found one that worked. It seems mad to me that he can do deaf friendly football and tennis where he can wear his aids and cope reasonably well (and does ok in a mainstream group) but there is nothing available for swimming. It does depend on the child too, DS now won't do water based activities because he can't wear aids, I know other deaf kids who love it and like the 'freedom' of not having to wear aids, DS on the other hands apart from sleeping never willingly removes his.

katiegolightly Wed 26-Sep-12 22:16:36

Thanks both. It never occurred to me that it might be quite tricky for her, until I observed a small class of just 3 kids (6 year olds ish) before we went in today. It was so noisy and excitable, the instructor was working hard to keep the 3 of them focused, it just seemed more chaotic than I anticipated, and I thought, wow - this will be hard for her. (I know we have a while to go yet!)

geogteach, is the deaf friendly football and tennis through your DS's school or privately? How fantastic!

BackforGood Wed 26-Sep-12 22:24:01

NDCS have a pack they can offer swim teachers to help them, with big cards with picture instructions on, and lessons in signs that are useful.

My (non-deaf) children all learned to swim at a swimming club, and the youngest learners there all have teenagers (from the club, who benefitted from the system 10 years earlier I presume) in the water with them, to support the teacher. Is this something you could investigate ? Or, even if it doesn't happen at the moment, there's a whole heap of youngsters out there looking to do some volunteering as part of their D of E award or Scout or Guide volunteering stuff. If you don't know anyone, then maybe contacting your local D of E group or even volunteers bureau might put you in touch with someone. I know my dd would readily do something like this, just because she'd like to help, I'm sure she's not alone.

SallyBear Thu 27-Sep-12 19:41:00

Oh I meant to say that you can now get waterproof hearing aids. My friend has a set for her DS for swimming.

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