"Lo, Children Are An Heritage of the LORD: and the Fruit of the Womb is His Reward" - Psalm 127:3

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Adaptive Swim Therapy for the 5 Year Old With Autism

 We've just begun therapy at the pool for the five year old.  He is and always has been extremely afraid of water.  Baths have been a real challenge, but typically once he's in, he's good to go.  But this summer we got him into a pool and he was riding on an inflatable toy and fell in over his head.  Now we're back to square one on all water.

These pictures are from his second therapy session.  He goes twice a week, and has a great lady working with him - she is very patient and encouraging.  He hasn't actually made it into the water yet, but at least we're making progress.

 The first day we went he played with a toy that looks like a diver - and he has been obsessed with divers ever since, and dressed up like them.  But the second time we went, he had a complete meltdown just going into the pool room.  Thankfully he eventually settled down.

A second grade group from the school came in for swimming lessons, and at first he was pretty overwhelmed by the number of them, but then he became interested in watching them, and didn't want to leave.

He even let his helper carry him over to the submarine.  You can see how shallow it is.  But he hasn't even dipped his toe in the water yet.

 He was pretty timid in the sub.  The therapist suggested allowing him to come to the next lesson dressed as a diver.

So this was how we came to the next lesson.  The temperature was in the 20's, but I brought him in shorts so we wouldn't have to change.  He had a shirt and coat on, and we cranked the heat in the car.  Normally at home he wears a ski helmet and ski goggles, and puts gloves on his feet for flippers.  But he spotted these flippers at the grocery store the day before, and when it was time to leave he couldn't find the ski helmet.  So he grabbed the ski mask.

 It was SO hot in the pool room - steamy - but he never took off the mask.

 He played on the sub again - still not touching the water - but the therapist said the mask seemed to give him confidence to move around and interact more, rather than just standing in one spot like he had before.  See him in the front circle window?

He was much more calm.  So, this is our swim gear.  Lessons again this coming week.  He is insisting that we go back to the grocery store for the goggles and "mouth golf" - which is what he has always called the scuba tube you breathe through.  So after church, we're getting those.  :)   Ahh.  Never a dull moment in this thankful Mama's life :)


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