Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Andrew has accomplished something big this summer...
He learned to swim!
And I mean really learned.
As in...we are amazed.
As in, if he were to fall in a pool or lake, we are pretty certain he could stay afloat.  Although of course we don't anticipate that ever happening.  But you can never be too careful, and we can officially say after two weeks of private lessons...
He's a swimmer.
After last summer's experience at our local Y, I was so discouraged.  He was in a class with 4 other kids, one of whom cried the entire 30 minutes.  I'm pretty sure he couldn't hear a word the instructor was saying as she spoke to all the kids (because, really?  His hearing aids can't get wet and she talked very softly).  
And after one week of private lessons, I can honestly say, I will never pay for public lessons again.  Never.  This was amazing.  After one day he gained more than the entire week at the Y last summer.
At the end of his lessons last year, he didn't pass.  Apparently his teacher thought he wasn't relaxed in the water and was a little fearful.  Ha!
Anyone who knows Andrew knows he's far from fearful... of anything!
She obviously didn't know Andrew.  And in her defense, how could she?  She had 5 kids to teach in a 30 minute time period and spent 80% of it consoling the crying kid.  Pretty much all Andrew did with her was kick on a kick board up and down a 1/2 length of the pool a couple times.
I'm pretty sure no one is going to learn to swim that way.  Especially someone who can't hear.
Private lessons were a must.  

And this summer we hit the jackpot!
Kala is a teacher, and she teaches private lessons in her parent's private pool in the summers with another girl (who teaches one other child at the same time, but it is one on one- two kids, two teachers, and they don't work together, they just gear it to what the child can do).
Andrew loved Kala.  She was so fun and enthusiastic- an excellent teacher.  She knew how to talk to kids.  She took the time to learn about Andrew's hearing issues and figured out a way to communicate with him from day one.
She had him diving off the deep end and swimming to her in the shallow end, diving for rings and learning two different strokes.  It was truly amazing.
(Some of these were taken at Ga Ga's pool during the summer once Andrew learned how to dive he loved his Mater and McQueen dive sticks!)
He was pointing his fingers to practice making circles in the water (breast stroke).

I asked Kala after a couple of days if she thought Andrew was fearful or not relaxed in the water...
She quickly responded... "Um....no." 
Yeah, I didn't think so.
It's just one of those reasons why good teachers are so essential.  I'm so blessed we had one that took the time to get to know Andrew, and worked with his personality and taught him things she knew he was capable of.
(Swimming between daddy and Papa at Ga Ga's pool in the deep end.  All by himself.)

Things we knew all along.

At the end of the week we begged her to work with him another week, but she was moving and getting married so she couldn't do it.  The other teacher, her friend McKenzie, agreed to do another week for us so she's been working with him this week to continue everything he learned.  He's doing so amazing.

We are so grateful for these girls and for finally finding two amazing people who taught our son how to swim.

Take a look for yourself! (The first part is Andrew's front crawl, and the next section he jumps off the diving board into the deep end and swims to the ladder.  I love how when he gets on the board he practices his "circles" with his arms first!  Ha!)
(Sidenote- please ignore my annoying giggle and voice!  We were laughing because he walks halfway across the pool before he actually swims!  Ha!)

Way to go little man!  We are so proud of you!

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