Last week I wrote about how I was looking for a couple of organizations that could provide gymnastics classes and swimming lessons for Jake (click here to read that post if you missed it!). The footnote in the post was that we had decided to sign Jake up for an inclusive gymnastics environment. We chose not to do so for swimming, however.
I had just come to grips with the fact that Jake wasn’t going to be in swimming this fall (something I was actually really disappointed about, since I think he could possibly have a future in swimming in the Special Olympics, as I swear he is part fish!) when I heard about this relatively new program in Calgary called “Making Waves”.
The mandate of Making Waves is simple: they are a not-for-profit organization that provides low-cost 1:1 water safety and swimming instruction for children with disabilities. All of their teachers have experience in aquatics and with children with special needs. I signed Jake up on the spot (no, literally…registration opened at 10am on a Sunday morning, and I was on my iPhone registering him at 10:01!!) and got him in.
Let me just tell you something. Making Waves is FANTASTIC!!
Jake’s teacher’s name is Cassie.
Jake has had two classes with her so far. Just two.
The first class she basically held him, let him jump to her in the water, and got to know him a little bit.
The second class she tied a pool noodle around his waist, and let him go!! And he swam. He swam to her. He swam to the edge of the pool. He climbed out, waited for her signal, and jumped back in. And swam to her again. And again. And again.
It was incredible. I literally watched with tears in my eyes, as my baby boy, who is part fish, was given the opportunity to learn how to swim. Cassie is incredible. She watches the things he’s interested in, and then incorporates them into his lesson (like throwing an object into the water, and then jumping in and swimming to get it. Or like splashing just for fun, to blow off some steam). She laughs with him. She challenges him. And he notices how he treats her. He has only had two lessons, and her name is talked about on a regular basis in our house. Every time we mention swimming, Jake pipes up “assie, assie” (his word for Cassie!).
Check out Making Waves Calgary on facebook.
They are an amazing organization, and Jake has been so blessed (even two lessons in I can already tell!) to be a part of it! Thanks Cassie and the rest of the Making Waves team for making a difference for my guy.
**I am not allowed to take pics during his lessons, just for privacy reasons, so I don’t have any pictures of him in action (yet!), but here are a couple from the summer when we went to the waterslides in Salmon Arm on our camping trip.**