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Sensory Challenge of the Month

December 10, 2017

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 Peter rarely dives right into any new experience. Add water to the mix and you never know what will come next.

 

Memorial Day Weekend is the official beginning of summer activities and this year’s weather made it easy to feel like summer was here. We were able to visit my parents and enjoy a day at their pool, but that meant there was going to be quite a bit of coaxing when it came to Peter.

 

Peter has a love/hate relationship with water. Studies have shown that water can actually be painful for those that have sensory issues. Each year, he has an adjustment period. This year, he was also arguing with me that swimming outside happens in the summer and summer does not come until later in June. I gave him the American long holiday weekend is the kickoff of summer and the weather agreed argument.

That at least got him to the edge of the pool. Often, the first pool day means Peter goes up the ladder or steps (depending on the pool we are visiting) and down, over and over again. Sometimes only the hemline of his suit actually gets wet. He started the in and out of the pool dance and then the next thing I knew he was in the water.

 

My husband Bill tried to coax him to swim since the girls were already doing their fish imitations. Peter objected and I pointed out that being in the pool was a great accomplishment, just give him some time.

 

Charlotte followed that lead and would go to the low end of the pool every so often to ask Peter to join her. Finally at one point, Peter started swimming. The next thing we knew he was in the deep end and then he was going down deep into the water. He popped up out of the water, calling to me to watch him “dive,” with such pride.

 

We had never even thought of teaching him to go under like that. Peter taught himself by watching other people in the pool.

 

There were cheers coming for all around the pool as Peter popped up each time with his grin shining as bright as that almost summer sun. The little steps have been adding up over the years. By the Fourth of July, we may have to tell him to be careful how long he stays under the water.

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