Published on 12, July, 2020
Hi all ... I have an eight year old son who is autistic. I have been informed by his school that on the 3rd May he will be required to take part in swimming lessons. I was told by a teacher at his school last year that once the lessons began he would be able to 'opt out' but unfortunately since being told that swimming is now part of the curriculum, and there is no 'opt out' option. Myself and my son were both happy for him not to attend as he had swimming lessons when he was younger and the instructor deemed him unsafe. My son is very a anxious about attending, as he said he is scared of not being able to do what is expected of him and also worried that he will not remember the instructions from the instructor. He has a very short attention span and also struggles to process information, in his words, things go in his brain and out again after 5 seconds. Has anyone got an advice on not only how to prepare him for the lessons but also me. I am so scared for his safety, during his last lessons he kept his head under water for so long I was on the verge of jumping in the pool and also whilst he was waiting for his instructions he started jumping up and down and ended up out of his depth. There were only four in his group when he was younger, now there are going to be 90. Although obviously there will be more adults supervising. I am so worried about this it's actually giving me anxiety attacks and the lessons haven't even began yet. I would be truly grateful for any advice anyone can offer. Thank you in advance. Caz
UPDATE: After posting this I arranged a meeting at the school with the SENCO teacher, my sons teacher, myself and my son. We discussed mine and my sons concerns and the school was very understanding. They…
UPDATE: After posting this I arranged a meeting at the school with the SENCO teacher, my sons teacher, myself and my son. We discussed mine and my sons concerns and the school was very understanding. They assured us both that if my son does not want to go into the water when the lessons start he will not be made to. His teacher has assured me that she will be with him and once the instructor has given the instructions she will repeat them to my son and will make sure that he is absolutely certain of what he is to do before allowing him into the water. They also made him a booklet which contains a social story about the swimming lessons, they gave him one to bring home and one to keep in school, so that he can read it whenever he wants to, my son loved it. I have also signed him up for 1-2-1 lessons with a private instructor which will start today after school. Thank you all for your advice, fingers crossed all goes well.
You can now look forward to your son coming home one day with a 10 metre certificate of his swimming achievement.
Fingers crossed :)