Friday, July 6, 2012

Sports and The Special Needs Child

One fish.
Two fish.

Yes, these are my two fish in a backyard kiddie pool.
And they are loving this hot summer weather we have been having for the last couple of weeks.
And they have been showing me that all of their hard work and determination is paying off...BIG TIME!
In a matter of 9 months, my daughter has essentially mastered three of the four swim strokes.
I know that the butterfly will be the hardest because of the motor planning that is required of the stroke.
She can do the arm motion.
She can do the leg motion.
She just struggles pairing them at this time.

And the boy?
Seven months ago he cried when we put him in the pool for swim lessons.
Cried and cried and cried.
Forget about teaching him the back stroke!
Now?  He thinks he can swim, but he sinks.
But that's OK.
He is comfortable in the pool now and likes to get his face wet!

And what amazes me the most about the two of these kids of mine who are so sensory and so easily distractable is the calm that takes over when they are in the pool.
And the focus.
And the sense of pride that they emit when they are successful in the pool.
I had come to the conclusion that team sports wasn't going to be something that I pushed on them.
My girl likes to watch the other kids in sports and the boy likes to kick his own soccer ball and shoot his own basketball.
But swimming is a team and an individual sport because they can compete against themselves as they compete against others.
There's no physical contact, no team drills, no plays to memorize.
Just one kid, one lane, and water.

And what did Debbie Phelps, Mom of 8 time Olympic Gold Medal winner Michael Phelps, do about her child with special needs?
He was diagnosed with ADHD you know.

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  1. We start off early watching television and then envisioning our American dream. As a child, we play with our babies, doll houses, and writing in our diaries. We start at the tender age of 4 or 5 looking for our prince charming to marry. Over time, we replace our crushes of princes and other Disney characters with real boys. Sometimes it is the boy that sits next to you in class or a movie star. Either way, it is getting you ready for that all important task called LOVE.........


  2. I love it. Absolutely love it. Chris Colwell is a hard of hearing diver (in the US Olympics) and he says that his hearing loss allows him to focus better on the diving board. Nolan LOVES the water - I think it is the one place he can be truly free!

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