From Marcus’ Mother:
“Marcus began group swim while I was in the hospital…first class was ok’ish, second class when it was time to get out he had a bit of a meltdown and kicked an instructor. My first reaction was
‘oh no, is he kicked out?’
He was not! We came up with a plan that included what Marcus wanted – more swim time! But there was a class right before and right after his, so the plan was that after class he would go get a snack and then return for free swim.
It worked wonderfully, I think mostly because of the reaction of the Y, they were understanding and willing to let us find a solution. They made Marcus feel welcomed! So…icing and cherry on top. Marcus self initiated taking the swim test..he could not complete all the tests required to swim independent. BUT, he was okay! He continued with lessons, and then again self initiated a re-take…and PASSED!! I cannot tell you how proud this kid was of himself. I tear up just writing about it.
Had the staff at the Y not been trained by the National Inclusion Project and not allowed him to fall down and get back up and try again, he never would not have had an opportunity to face his embarrassment and experience compassion and empathy. He would not have had the opportunity to learn to swim with a group of peers and see some kids were better and some kids struggled more than he did. He would not have had the confidence to fail and then try again. He would not have had the reassurance he desperately needs that he is CAPABLE of trying hard and accomplishing a goal. It has really been the highlight of the summer.”
*Pictures and names changed for the privacy of the child.