Thursday, October 11, 2012

31 for 21 : Swimming

While we were in Florida this summer Ella SHOCKED me by learning how to swim. Like above water, with no floatation devices on, swim!!! I seriously almost started sobbing, I was just so surprised and proud! I'm pretty sure this is the only thing Ella has ever done earlier (in age) than her brother! (I'm not saying that to put down Hunter, in fact I'm sure if he couldn't reach the bottom of the pool he would have been swimming at the age of 5 too!) I just assumed that like everything else because Ella has Down syndrome she would swim later than "typically developing kids," you know because she has that low muscle tone and is less coordinated. Well apparently not.

 I think there are a couple of things that helped Ella achieve this...the number one thing is the kind of floaties she has been using the past 2 years, Puddle Jumpers. These floaties have allowed Ella to "swim" all over the pool independently. The other thing that I'm sure helped is her poor safety awareness (it had to be good for something right?) Ella has been giving me near heart attacks around water for as long as she has been able to walk. Seriously.

So yeah my (then) 5 year old with Down syndrome can swim!!!! Now that certainly does not mean that she swims all over the pool all on her own like her brother. She doesn't have the stamina for that.....YET! But she did swim the length of the pool at the rental house in Florida several times, on several occasions. However Ella's biggest joy is jumping like a crazy person, with no one catching her, onto floaties etc, so of course if we aren't practicing swimming together than she has her puddle jumper back on! Here are a few videos uploaded together of her swimming in August. It isn't necessarily pretty, and frankly sometimes she looks like she is drowning but it's swimming!!!

My proud swimmer
Ella in the Puddle Jumper....never mind the belly. She does have a swim shirt on but when you jump like a crazy person the shirt tends to ride up!
In mid flight : )

If you can't view the video above click HERE.