I'm so proud of DS3.5, who I'm teaching to swim one-on-one. We have a membership to a lovely gym that offers a shallow instructional pool kept warm for young swimmers. DS exhibits many sensory challenges that make swimming an often overwhelming experience for him. Couple that with his astute, well-honed BS detector, and distraction is challenging. My philosophy is to gently motivate him to stretch himself outside his comfort zone voluntarily. Even if we make 1% progress each session, a long-term positive trend will result in him learning to swim.

We've been attending open swims together for one hour 2-3 times per week for the last 6 weeks. Most of the time we play silly games on the steps or pretend to be marine biologists. Today, for the first time, DS willingly accepted wearing a life vest. (We started out with him wearing it dry in the deck.) He was splashed in the face accidentally by another swimmer passing him and, instead of melting down, he turned his head, wiped away the water and calmly said, "No big deal!" He even agreed to lie (mostly) on his front and kick as I raced him around the pool. The best part was his rippling giggle as we played. He was SO proud of himself and clearly delighted at his progress!

To put the magnitude of this development in context, this is a child who is uncomfortable with inversion (even tilting backward) and having water on his head. Yay DS!!!
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Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.