Our own little Maria Sharapova/Dara Torres in the making...

C and her friends, working on their backhand stance

That's my girl!

Last week, C started tennis and mini-team swim lessons at our neighborhood club.  We had originally planned on it just being tennis, but then C surprised us by (very uncharacteristically) declaring that she wanted to take swimming lessons, put her face under the water, and blow bubbles.  Um, TWIST MY ARM, PLEASE!  We have been working through a pretty irrational fear of the water for some time now, so this definitely caught us off-guard, but we went with it and so far, both lessons have been great!

I have a neighborhood girl coming to our house around 9 am, three mornings a week, so that M can hang out here and get some one-on-one attention of her own while I take C up the street.  We have tennis first, and then walk over from the courts to the pool for swim practice.  I am so glad she is giving tennis a try.  Not only is it a great life-long sport, but it is such great practice for her coordination, motor planning, and crossing her midline.  Her attention span can be short at times during practice, but we are working on this too by talking about how important it is to stick with something and follow through.  

As for swimming, my husband and I couldn't be more thrilled.  Learning this skill is so important from a safety perspective, but C has really shied away from it up until now.  My husband is a swimmer - he not only swam at Georgetown during his college years, but he also used to coach summer and elite swimming - so he could absolutely teach C, but she and he can butt heads occasionally.  Like lots of kids with SPD, having water poured over her head or not feeling like she has control of her surroundings when in the water has historically been a real issue for her.  Having someone outside the family working with her has proven to be the key here:  in her first week, she has floated on her back (with support), blown bubbles, and (sort of) put her head under water.  Learning to use her kickboard, practicing pool safety, and keeping her focus through the entire half-hour lesson is just icing on the cake.  We'll take it!!!  

I decided to clue her swim coaches in on some of what we are working on from a therapeutic perspective - just a general "Just in case you feel like it's taking a bit for C to put the pieces together, here's why..." kind of email that proved to be a great decision.  The head coach has personally been working with her group every day, and has taken a special interest in helping C experience success.  All her coaches are terrific and very enthusiastic.  We could not have asked for more.  

We are off to a great (albeit busy!) Summer - no wonder it's my favorite season of the year!


What We're Working On: Tackling the Swingset

Wow - time flies!  It's been a few very full weeks since I've written - we've wrapped up preschool for C, been to my parents' house on the Bay for Memorial Day, and are finally settling into a bit of a relaxed Summer routine.  The girls are loving sleeping until they feel like getting up (my husband and I are loving that, too!) and days filled with playing with friends, hitting the pool, and getting outside as much as possible.

We're taking all that being outside has to offer as an opportunity to work on some of the play skills that many kids take for granted.  Our own back yard is the perfect little sensory gym!  One of the things that is a little tricky for C is swinging on the swing set by herself.  She loves to swing, but it's hard for her to figure out what to do with her legs and the rest of her body in order to get going and stay moving.  The rhythm of "Push off the ground with my legs, extend them upwards while swinging up, then bend and pump them back underneath while swinging back, all-the-while stablizing my core so that I don't fall backward or forward, and repeat..." takes coordination that she doesn't always have quite yet, but she's definitely trying!