Saturday, April 16, 2016

Awareness - First Step to Understanding

On our Spring Break 2015 trip to Jamaica, both Dominic and I almost drowned in the swimming pool at our hotel. I had went to the end of a water slide where the water was slightly above my head and Dominic followed me. I wasn't able to hold him up and we started sinking to the bottom of the pool. I put my arm up and the lifeguard dove in and brought us back to the surface. It was scary with a capital, "S."  Shortly after we got back from that trip, I decided I better sign him up for a beginner swimming class at the Goldfish Swim School where we live. I asked if they had a special needs swim class available and they said no. I almost didn't sign him up, but then decided I had to let go of my anxiety about it. I love the way the instructors at Goldfish teach. There is a lot of positive encouragement ,"high-fives," and participation ribbons which Dominic thrives on.




About a week ago, I got an e-mail from the General Manager. She said,

"I actually have a few questions that I thought you may be able to help me with in regards to Autism:

1  Do you know of any Autism Awareness Instructor in the area that would be willing to talk/teach my team about specific tactics/awareness in this area?
    
2.   Do you use a PEC system with Dominic? 

3.  What are your thoughts of having a specific half hour of lessons for children with special   needs? Would this be something you would like for Dominic or do you prefer how we have it now, where the children are all integrated together?

I thought you might have some good insight on these topics!"

As one ALWAYS willing to express my opinion, I wrote her back. In response to question #1, I told her that I would look around for an instructor to teach all different types of special needs that could train her "team." Question #2 -  Dominic does use a "PEC" system (Picture Exchange Communication System) - children with Autism, especially, are "visual" learners. Question #3 - I thought it would be a good idea to have a separate class available for children with special needs. I told her Dominic is okay in his current class (he is on his third instructor), but a lot of children with Autism (and other special needs), like consistency, routine and sameness. I loved that the Manager reached out to me, specifically about whether I knew anyone that could talk/teach her staff about specific tactics and awareness of those with special needs. Awareness is the first step towards understanding.

1 comment:

  1. You are blessed to spread the word. It is wonderful that the director is not only interested in answers, but contacted someone who could and would help. Cathy to the rescue! Love, Auntie

    ReplyDelete