As I mentioned in my post yesterday, one of the advantages of home education is being able to organise private tuition inside school hours when tutors generally have slots free. After several months of trying to find someone who could teach Small to swim on a 1-1 basis, yesterday was the day of his first 'proper' swimming lesson.
I want 1-1 initially because a) because of his difficulties I feel he needs very individualised attention for a while, and b) because he hasn't, up to now, received any sort of 'formal' instruction from anyone other than me. Once he's got the hang of it and grown in confidence, I'll try him in a group class.
He's been swimming, as in happily splashing around in a pool with armbands, back floats, etc for a while now and it's something he appears to enjoy. He lacks the coordination to do more than one thing at a time, so if the legs are going the arms aren't, and vice-versa. It's something that may come with practice, but he's way less coordinated than he should be, which is something that often goes hand-in-glove with Aspergers.
Much to my surprise, and I think the instructor's too, he was more than happy to get into the pool - although he wouldn't go down the steps and had to be lifted in - and Small was absolutely delighted to find it was shallow enough for his feet to touch the bottom, which they can't in the pool we normally go to. He soon cottoned on to just how far he had to come back down the pool before he could touch the bottom and as soon as he got there, the toes went down and he walked, rather than swam back to the edge.
He did well though and was soon down in the deep end and the instructor said that while his tip toe walking causes him great difficulty on terra-firma, he's got the perfect legs for swimming as his toes naturally go in the right direction! At one point, she got him swimming around with one float on each arm instead of two, but we all laughed when Small craftily snuck over to the poolside and put the other two back on while she wasn't looking.
Small also hates getting his face and hair wet as he can't process the sensation. Although he doesn't notice the latter too much when he's in the pool, if so much as a spot of water gets on his face, he wants to wipe it off. When the instructor suggested to him that he just wipe it away with his hand, he looked at her as though she'd just said something really silly, and retorted, "No, that would just make my face wetter." I don't think she expects that sort of logical, blunt response, especially from a 5 year-old! She did comment on how polite he is though, which makes me wonder what the other kids she teaches are like. After all, manners cost nothing and often get you a long way.
He actually seems to be much further on than I thought though, as she soon managed to get him moving around the pool with just the two armbands on each arm and no back float. So long as he remembers to actually move the arms and legs and put a bit of effort into the whole deal, he does OK. We shall persevere!
Until next time. x