FOR three-year-old Christopher Osborne learning to swim is not just about having fun in the pool – it is vital for his safety as he grows.
At the age of just 18 months, his mum Rebekah and dad Shaun did notice a change in their toddler, becoming a little bit more withdrawn – something that the paediatrician recognised as the symptoms of autism.
Although never fully diagnosed until a child is older, it was evident that Christopher was displaying classic signs of the condition and as a result they have adapted his development work and play accordingly. In doing so they saw swimming as a priority as they live close to Louth Canal.
“Yes, the swimming helps to tire him out and he loves it, you can see that. But it is also about life skills. Christopher has no sense of danger and if he finds himself in deep water, then he must know how to get out. That is why his lessons are tailored in a certain way – he is encouraged to swim to the side of the pool and not to another person,” explained Rebekah.
After initially joining group Duckling lessons when Christopher was just a baby, Rebekah had to switch to one-to-ones when the pool was at its quietest, due to her young son’s difficulties in large groups. Level Two swim teacher Charlotte Elliott-Wright now helps Christopher once or twice a week, early in the mornings.
“The whole experience is so good for Christopher. Charlotte is so calm and takes the time with him to make sure he is learning the right things, but also enjoying it,” added Rebekah.
To find out more about swimming lessons for all ages, go to https://magnavitae.org/activity/lessons/
Swimming Lessons take part at our following venues: