Lovebug has been taking swimming lessons this summer and is doing amazing!! Last month when she did the first round, I put her in Level 1 because I wasn’t sure how intense the levels here would be. Almost right away, the teacher said that she really needed to be in Level 3 based on how much she was already swimming. Thankfully, the classes were small and he was able to teach her at a higher level anyway, so I didn’t bother trying to switch in the middle of a session.
Bug has always loved the water! She has a great time playing in it, and can’t wait until she can SCUBA dive with Mommy & Daddy! In the past years, our dear Aunt Chelle has taught her swimming lessons, and taught her to do her “big scoops”, but this is the first time she’s really had to do real swimming with any real amount of distance or endurance.
When I signed her up for this round, I put her in Level 3. During this class, they worked on improving the technique of their freestyle stoke, taught elementary backstroke, started learning breaststroke, and touched briefly on the scissor kick. She had her last class today.
So, how did it go? Well, going into the class, she did have a few things working against her.
* Motor skills and coordination do not come easily for Lovebug. She’s super smart, but physically coordinating her body gives her a bit of stress.
* She’s a perfectionist which can lead to extreme frustration when she doesn’t get something right the first time.
* She is very literal. She takes what you say quite literally, which means she doesn’t always get sarcasm or humor and that can lead to misunderstandings.
However, in the end, she has ROCKED this class, and I am so incredibly proud of her!
She overcame some huge obstacles during the past 2 weeks. We dealt with goggle-fitting issues, not understanding WHY she had to do certain strokes, not being able to coordinate her top half with her bottom half in some strokes, and even a sudden change of a pool rule in the middle of the class (no goggles on the diving board). Not only did she have to obey the “new” rule – she had to do it without understanding why because no one seemed to know. That is very hard for her Aspergerian side! She handled it all with EXCELLENCE!
Each day, we prayed that God would give her courage, strength, endurance, and let her enjoy swimming. He is so GOOD and did just that! I also reminded her each day that she didn’t have to be perfect – she just had to do better than she did the previous day.
I also have to give credit to her awesome teacher! For someone that isn’t Mommy, Daddy, or Aunt Chelle – this was the perfect teacher for her! Patient, kind, and understanding! On one of the days that Lovebug was in tears because she didn’t know how to do something perfectly, the teacher pulled her aside and told her “I’m here to teach you. You don’t have to know how to do this already. You will get this!”.
Today, that teacher helped encourage my daughter to go down the water slide!! I know that lots of kids go down water slides, but this is a HUGE deal for my daughter!
See, Lovebug loves slides, but she does NOT like going down them fast, so she tends to stick to the smaller slides. She also can’t stand closed-in slides. It seriously disturbs her vestibular sense, and it’s just a part of her Sensory Processing Disorder that we deal with. She avoids things like this because she’s terrified of how she will feel going down it. Most of the time it’s much worse in her mind that it really is. So, she has not wanted to go down these slides before – here, or at other water parks we’ve been to.
When we got there today, I saw that the water slide was turned on. I told Lovebug that if she had a chance to do it, she should try it at least once and see if she liked it. We talk often about this and say “Don’t let your fears keep you from having fun” and “Try everything at least once”. When the time came, and the teachers said they could go down the slide, she had a look on her face that was a combination of fear and desire. She wanted to do it, but she was scared. I gave her hugs and encouraged her, and then her teacher went the extra mile. She offered to wait at the end of the slide in the water for Lovebug. That sealed the deal and she started toward the stairs. As she stopped and turned around in hesitation, her teacher said “Don’t let your fears stop you from doing this!”. Bug had heard that before, but it was nice to hear it from someone else.
Her teacher positioned herself at the end of the slide, and hollered up to Lovebug telling her “I’m right here!” as she came down the slide. As she landed, she didn’t even need the teacher’s help and was able to get out all by herself!
She even went back and did it again!
Since I know you want to see it for yourself, here you go!
She was SO SO PROUD of herself!! She can’t wait to tell one of her friends that went down the slide last time we went swimming together. She wants to go back with him and do it together!
That’s my girl!!