Recreational Lessons

Several parents here have mentioned that their autistic spectrum children are enrolled in lessons of various kinds, swimming or karate or gymnastics come to mind. I’ve considered getting Ger involved in something like this, but I have some concerns. I want him to learn to swim. This is *my*need, not his though I do think he would enjoy it. He LOVES the water but has no good sense about it. Threw himself into the (chilly!)North Atlantic last summer, fully clothed, and rolled around in the surf for an hour. Then when we got home and got him into some dry clothes, he promptly went out in the backyard and climbed into his grandparents’ pool. For safety’s sake I’d like him to learn how to handle himself properly in the water, and I am *not* qualified to do it myself!

Recreational Lessons should be included in special needs education However, given Ger’s lack of fear and limited inclination to follow instructions, I am not remotely comfortable just putting him in a regular swimming class. I’m hoping there’s some middle ground between regular classes and private lessons? For maximum comfort I would like to *be* there, but he’s too old for the “mommy and me” type classes I’ve seen.

I also think he’d like a pottery or sculpture class, which is less dangerous I guess I’m mostly concerned that these sorts of classes are generally geared towards NT kids, and the teachers might have no experience at all with special needs children. I’m not sure what sort of problems might result, but I expect there will be some. Being ordered around a lot, for example, just makes him anxious. I think he’d enjoy the activity, but might be uncomfortable with the situation.