Get outside the box and swim
Water and swimming are there for all children. They offer an amazing range of activities, exercises that can help or are a part of a therapy, and that can ease certain physical or mental disabilities. However, sometimes it is easier said than done. From my own experience and by talking to some of the parents, not many people are ready to accept that responsibility and work with the children who need a different approach in the water. To be really honest, this quite makes sense as it takes an experienced trainer, often with a support of a doctor, as well as time, to win these “battles”. Nothing can be done overnight.
Depending on a child’s initial condition, and his/her progress, some of the benefits that can be seen after spending certain time in the water are: feeling relaxed in the water, greater mobility, better balance and coordination. For those big changes it takes a strong will of the parents, the child, and also persistence and patience of the trainer. It is usually required that all of us in this circle get outside box in order to swim and feel better.
· A five-year-old boy was diagnosed with LCPD (Leg-Calve-Perthes-Disease) and after his hips surgery, his prognosis was that he wouldn’t be probably able to walk again. What can a parent do after hearing such grim information? Most just get petrified. Yes, his prognosis was that he wouldn’t be able to walk again. However, his mother was completely calm. The only thing he could do was to move in the water, undergo hydrotherapy and start swimming, because he was able to swim by using his arms and without imposing any pressure on his joints, make the moves with his legs in the water. Thanks to her timely reaction, regular swimming classes, today he is, believe it or not, a top athlete, practicing triathlon, swimming, running and biking.
· I also met a mother who had no problem driving 80km one way, twice a week, taking her twins to the swimming pool. One of them was completely healthy while the other had Cerebral Palsy (CP). With his paediatrician’s approval, I decided to work with them because I knew how much he needed this therapy in the water, in order to relax his muscles, increase the mobility of his limbs, enjoy the water, and eventually start “swimming” by using appropriate swimming aids.
· One morning a father came with his little daughter who was prematurely born, in her seventh month. He drew my attention to the way his baby was holding her head, and that they had been on a waiting list to see a specialist for far too long. After three months of the baby swimming lessons, she had the best posture of all the babies, and they completely forgot about seeing a specialist.
· I worked with a seven-year-old boy who had a great desire to swim but was unfortunately born without the right forearm, because his mother used certain supplements of a famous German pharmaceutical company during her pregnancy. Thanks to the efforts of the parents, but above all the will of the boy, after only eight months he learned how to swim in all swimming styles!
· When my little shark was born, and made his first steps, we noticed that he was walking with his left foot more inward. What did we do? We swam. Children cannot get hurt in the water, in the way they can when they are on the ground. While you swim you don’t make any sudden moves, joints and ligaments are not under pressure as they are outside the water. With some exercises outside the water, as well as the right movements in the water, and his persistence, my son became a true shark in the water, and Speedy Gonzales outside it.
As you can see form the examples above, water and swimming are there for all children. That’s why, I would advise all parents to break away from the stereotypes and take their children to the swimming pool. With regular swimming and adequate exercises, you can achieve amazing results. It’s only important what you want to achieve!