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Not sure what to do about DD going swimming

(12 Posts)
charliechew Sat 13-Sep-08 17:28:29

My DD1 has ASD and now that she has moved up to year 2, the class will be going swimming once a week to the local swimming baths. She has a full time support assistant, but it looks unlikely that they will actually be going in the water with her. I just don't know what to do really. When I take DD1 swimming I have to take my mother along too so that she will look after DD2, while I look after DD1. The support assistant told me that they would be going swimming on Tuesday. She said that there would be a swimming teacher there, but to be honest, I don't think it will be enough (just one swimming teacher,who has the rest of the class to look after in the water. On the other hand I don't want her to miss out on going swimming, as she loves it when I take her. I would volunteer to go along, but I can't as I'm retraining and won't be able to. My DD1 doesn't comprehend danger yet, am I worrying too much?

vjg13 Sat 13-Sep-08 18:04:26

Why can't her TA go into the water with her or at least be ready to?

When my daughter started swimming with school, the TA did go into the water then was just ready on the side. Now she is fine unsupported with the rest of the class.

Seuss Sat 13-Sep-08 18:51:23

If she needs support in a classroom it stands to reason she will need support in a swimming pool. I agree, someone should at least be ready to jump in with her.

supportman Sat 13-Sep-08 19:01:57

Also agree that TA should go in with her or be ready to go in. Is it the TA who is being difficult, the school or the pool?

LollipopViolet Sat 13-Sep-08 19:04:13

Gosh, even in my NT, public, paid for lessons, we sometimes used to have two teachers, and one would sometimes be in the water with us. Hope you sort something, I'm with the others, someone should at least be ready to jump in.

charliechew Sat 13-Sep-08 19:22:24

Thanks for your advice and help.

When the TA told me about the swimming I got the feeling that she wasn't prepared to go in the water, although she did say it was shallow. I'm going to speak to the head on Monday and ask if one of the TA will actually go into the pool with her, otherwise I'll just have to pull the plug on it. It's either that or I spend all day having worrying myself sick, I can't. She really needs someone to actually go in with her. I just wondered if anyone knew anything more about how the statemented support covers things like swimming?

Nymphadora Sat 13-Sep-08 19:27:22

She doesn't actually have to go swimming ,if you are that worried say to school you don't want her to go (then TA will have to be with her anyway).
Though there id no reason she shouldn't go with the TA. I have when I was a TA.

Romy7 Sat 13-Sep-08 19:41:02

it sounds to me like the TA didn't realise that 1-1 meant for all activities. i would ring the school nicely, just to 'clarify' that as dd's statement says 1-1, she will of course be having 1-1 support in the pool as well, won't she? after all, you would hate for there to be an accident if she wasn't correctly supervised... if they failed to make it clear to the 1-1 that she would be required to go in the pool, and she is not prepared to, i would be expecting the school to organise a switch for swimming lessons so that someone else provided the 1-1 support. not ideal in the short term as dd and the TA wouldn't be familiar with each other, but a long term solution should be found by the school. don't tell them that you'll go, or that she'll miss out. it's their job to provide 1-1, not yours to sort out their problem for them.

school may have a small opt-out depending what her statement says, and the actual wording concerning what she requires support for... it depends whether it lists everything, and even maybe whether they count swimming as part of the 'curriculum' or an extra... but they'd be on dodgy DDA ground refusing to include her, and refusing to provide 1-1 if her statement specifies 1-1 support for the entire school day...

Seuss Sat 13-Sep-08 21:49:15

I know it's a bit different but my ds goes to a local pool with his special school and all the TAs are expected to swim too or at least help out poolside. None of them question whether it's part of their job.

vjg13 Sat 13-Sep-08 21:56:39

I think the TA is trying to take the piss because she doesn't fancy it.
My daughter's school initially asked us what we thought and even though she can swim ,we felt in a strange environment she should have that extra support.
Agree with Romy about giving the head teacher a call, they do have a duty of care to ensure a child's safety.

vjg13 Sat 13-Sep-08 22:03:49

If she is unable to access the swimming lesson by having inadequate support she is being discrimanated against too.
We have loads of these types of problems with school especially around school trips.

tibni Sat 13-Sep-08 22:05:06

I would go and talk to the senco and ask how the new timetable will be managed. It is reasonable to ask as you will need to prepare your child.

As more children with differing needs are going to MS schools personal care and higher levels of support are becoming more usual. If swimming is something your dd enjoys and would manage with 1-1 support then it is reasonable to expect school to enable her to go. If school maintains that TA will not be in water ask for your own copy of the risk assessment for your file stating your dd will be swimming without support. Might just make them think! wink

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