Finally, after two years, I got my act together and organized swim lessons for Ben with an instructor at the pool we have joined the past few summers. I saw her two summer agos working with a child with special needs, even got her phone number, but never made the contact until this year. Of course, when we showed up for the first lesson, Kathy already knew Ben from school and knew that he was a stubborn one. (That kid sure gets around.) The lesson in the video above is his fourth and final one for the summer and the growth in his abilities is remarkable. The biggest change she made was taking off his life vest and putting on a three-block flotation belt . It made Ben use more of his own body to swim and also gave him the freedom to move more easily through the water. With such success, we are implementing some of Kathy's ideas in Ben's weekly physical therapy in the pool and talking with the YMCA about finding an instructor that can work with Ben on a regular basis.
These stories describe our journey with Ben, our oldest son. Ben is a sweet and energetic redhead, born with a rare genetic mutation. My husband, Ryan, and I try to keep up with Ben and his two younger brothers. I intend to shed insight into raising a child with disabilities and pass on the wisdom we’ve earned over the past two decades.