Tuesday, July 18, 2006

In the swim

It looks like Bud is joining the ranks of the bigger kids in the autism blogosphere. Following in the footsteps (or, more accurately, in the wake) of Charlie and Nat, Bud has officially started swimming.

He's been on the verge of it for a while. We'd been trying to teach him the doggie-paddle - dig the water with your hands, kick with your feet - and while he had the basic mechanics mastered, he seemed a bit confused by the coordination of them. The visual element of swimming seemed distracting to him as well - should he watch the water? watch his hands? watch the kids playing in the water nearby? watch us watching him?

So this weekend, Bud did what he always does: he figured out how to do it his own way. And it's interesting that when I saw him start to swim I remembered that I first swam the exact same way. Instead of focusing on memorized steps and procedures and first-this-then-that, Bud swam by intuition: He put his face under water, pushed off with his feet and started gliding, his kicking legs propelling him forward, his outstretched arms slicing the water and reaching for his destination. And so he swam, again and again: from Nana to me, from me to Nana.

Push, glide, kick, reach.

Push, glide, kick, reach.

Bud just keeps teaching me the same lesson over and over: there is more than one right way to get where you're going.

Sometimes you just have to be willing to take the plunge.

9 comments:

Kristina Chew said...

And to get your face wet!

Charlie does a kind of modified doggie paddle/breast stroke, of his own making. It's been hard to teach him how to do the strokes---again, I think it's a challenge for him to coordinate mind, body, water, words.

We'll be thinking of you at the pool today!

Cheers to Bud!

Tara said...

Tis the season for taking the "Plunge"!! I am so grateful that my patient husband taught Littleman to swim. He positively beams when he is in the water. I think these kids just follow their instincts in so many ways and so often they are successful. As my favorite animated fish Dory says-
"Just keep swimming!"

Mom to Mr. Handsome said...

That's great BUD!!! Keep up the new swimming technique :o)

Kristin

Mamaroo said...

This is big news!!! Yeah for Bud!

mumkeepingsane said...

I think you all have just taught me how to teach my son Patrick how to swim. I'm going to stop focusing on the right strokes for starters.

He's really learning on his own right now (and scaring mom at the same time) but he LOVES Dory. So I'm going to let him do it his own way while singing to him "just keep swimming, just keep swimming".

Eureka! This will work. Thanks everyone. And Yay for Bud too.

Wade Rankin said...

Way to go, Bud!!!!!

SquareGirl said...

Wonderful and Absolutely! I think there is a word that I cannot remember now that means there are many paths to a destination. Bud is an example of that!

kyra said...

yay to bud!!! that's wonderful news!

Big Orange said...

we were working on that very thing UNTILLLL... we discovered the HOSE.

::sigh:: NOW the only way we'll get Solenbum into the pool is AFTER he's had some good, ol' fashioned hose-spraying, mud-making fun. IN the water if he has one of those float-noodle thingies, he'll merrily kick his way all over the pool, though face-wetting is still a challenge.

Bud, we need you to go to the Dept. of Ed and tell 'em THERE'S MORE THAN ONE WAY TO DO STUFF, PEOPLE!! STOP MAKING TEACHERS TEACH EVERYONE IN LOCKSTEP!!

Hee. GO BUD!!