Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Boy. Like a Fish

Oliver is swimming. In my last post I described his joy in the water and his bouncing technique for moving around. But yesterday when we went to the pool I saw him experiment a bit with pushing off from the side or from the stairs and move a few feet by kicking his legs and moving his arms. I saw him lay back in the water, pick his feet up and swim another few feet. I saw him venture away from the side of the pool towards the middle, swimming a few feet then bouncing, then swimming a few feet more. And I saw his proud, proud smile. The smile that tells me more than a million words ever could.

I could never have taught Oliver how to swim. Being in the water is such an overwhelming sensory experience for him that it would be next to impossible to get him to really absorb any kind of instruction. I know because I tried. I hired a college student who was also studying special education. She gave up after about 10 minutes. "He's not really paying attention." So this is something that he learned completely on his own, from trial and error, experimentation and from an awareness of how to control his body in order to achieve a certain outcome. There is nothing extraordinary about this. Kids do it all the time.

Incredible, isn't it?


  1. Um, yes, it is extraordinary. And so hooray for Oliver! We learned to swim this summer too and in some ways it has changed our lives (or at least our summer lives). I'm so happy for you. Go Oliver!

  2. HOORAY!!!

    Waiting for some swimming pictures. Or maybe even a video?

  3. Or... he really was paying attention and decided to use it when he was ready. Good for Oliver.

  4. Kristen is so **is** extraordinary. Celebrate! I can't wait to read more of these kinds of triumphs from Oliver. :-)

  5. I worked on the same theory - just expose them often enough, let them do their own thing [although preferably not drown!] and eventually......
    Now they don't swim like anyone else I've ever seen, but they're in the water and happy and afloat!

  6. Wow! Isn't great that he could figure it out on his own? He sounds like such a neat kid.