Last year I wrote a post about swimming with Sensory Kids and it seemed to really connect with a number of other parents with sensory kids so I thought I would give an update.
One of the comments I received was regarding the kids using nose clips. And that they should NOT be using nose clips because in the REAL world if they fall into some water they would NOT have a nose clip and they would need to be able to swim with them. I understand that argument. And I will totally admit that our long-term aim is that both kids will be swimming without nose clips, we see them as a temporary measure. But they have been VALUABLE, VERY VALUABLE. Both my kids did not want to submerge their heads at all, in fact in the beginning if anyone suggested they needed to put their heads under water my daughter would be in tears. Introducing the nose clips was a way of us being able to make the kids more comfortable in the water so they would try to put their heads under. And it worked. They now love swimming under the water and diving down to fetch items from the bottom of the pool.
I have always felt very strongly that the kids needed to enjoy the water. I did not want them to be scared of it and I did not want them to feel anxious before swimming lessons. And they LOVE it. They love the water and they love their swimming teacher so we are NOT making an issue about the nose clips we are letting them decide when they are comfortable to remove them.
And yes I get that some people may feel like that is me taking the easy way out. Fine. But I want to mention 3 things that happened in todays lesson. Firstly we arrived slightly early so the kids joined me in the big pool. My daughter was off by herself happily swimming in the deep end, not a care in the world. My son stayed close to me, mainly because he just likes company. But while he was swimming with me I noticed at one stage he switched onto his back and just floated for a bit and then switched back. I asked him if everything was okay and he said -“It’s fine, when I get tired I just float for a bit and then I start swimming again.” Perfect ! So if he ever does end up in water in a tricky situation he already knows to get onto his back.
Secondly during their lesson a lady who was swimming lengths in the pool stopped me and asked if they were my two kids. After I confirmed they were she said that she loved seeing how much they were enjoying the water. LOVED that.
Thirdly during their lesson and after their lesson while the kids were just playing in the pool both of them were removing their nose clips for very short bursts to go under water. I could see they were testing the feeling out, getting used to it, but they were removing their nose clips, and no-one was demanding that they do and they were not getting upset by it.
I completely understand that for someone who does not have sensory kids our swimming journey that we are on might seem strange. Before I had kids I would probably have thought that. But this is all part of us making our sensory kids comfortable in a world that is often overwhelming for them. Yes we take it slow, yes we introduce steps that others might think unnecessary but our end goal is to have 2 confident swimmers who enjoy the water. And I do feel like we are getting there, even with their nose clips.
Sorry not the best photo, I tend to just watch and enjoy seeing them in the water so I don’t have lots of photos