Nicholas at the December 13, 2007 Swim Meet





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Published on Dec 14, 2007

The swim team is so nice to Nick, a high school student with autism. Nick has his one on one helper, Ali, swimming with him. It takes Nick a longer to start, so you will see the other swimmers going first in this exhibition heat. Once Nick got started, his 50 backstroke took him 50 seconds. Watch for Nick's coach on the left, around the middle of the way down the lane. He encourages Nick to "move," just like he does the other guys when they race. We are so fortunate to have Ali, Coach Karl, the swimmers, and families. They make a huge difference in Nick's life.

You will notice that Nick is wearing fins. This is not to increase his speed, as a matter of fact, they slow his flip turns down (it is more difficult to quickly flip in fins). The fins are to remind Nick not to sit on the bottom of the pool, something that he loves to do when he is in the water relaxing.

Eventually, in the not too distant future, Nick will be able to go without the fins. He is stopping less and less, as time goes on, during his races. Ali and the Coach will know when the right time is to remove them. It won't be the removal of the fins that would slow the race down to any significant degree, it will be Nick's stopping to sit on the bottom of the pool to take a break. LOL

Honestly, in the end, the biggest goal that I want out of Nick's swimming experience is for him to learn how to swim lengths. I feel that this is important. If we don't teach him how to do this in a proper context, who will? When we are at the swim meets, he really pays attention to what the other guys are doing. He sees young men, his own age, swimming lengths. He sees how to properly kick his feet, use his arms, do flip turns, and the like. The daily observation and experience is critical, since Nick learns slowly . . . but, he can learn. The people who are with Nick know this too.

The guys on the team are wonderful. They cheer Nick on and help him as he swims by doing so. Cameras, such as mine during this swim meet, often get in the way of the natural goodness. So, I don't use a camera very often, since it really gets in the way. The guys were so nice during this swim meet. They came over to help anyway, even with the camera rolling. (Nick really needs them to be there more than I need a video.)

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