Dean the FreediverMaciej Zieliński
Personal, own, unique, this is the story of my journey that Dean, generously, let me take. It’s neverending learning process of little diver’s likes and dislikes, better and worse days, working hard and playing hard… and then next day all over again!
Our journey to swimming has started some time ago. Dean came to Leisure Centre that I used to work in, and joined group session. Little champ was so happy in the water but it took us a moment to get used to to each other. Then parents have decided that Dean will go one to one with me. That was real start to our incredible story 🙂 We are absolutely mad in the pool (luckily lifeguards didn’t banned us yet) As Dean’s mum said, working with Dean is like seating in airplane cockpit with hundreds buttons, without manual, with no idea what they are for… And when you press one it not necessary will do same thing at next press… Yup, that’s Dean.
Face in the water, floating were never a problem. Building a swim and consistent work… that’s different story. Whenever we wanted to build up we went with distractions… When I wanted Dean’s to swim I need to distract him from distraction! Favourite one? Throwing Dean up in the air and then he’s landing deep under water… Still his favourite!
At the same time Dean’s continued work with group sessions at different coaches… Reports about his progress? Unmanageable, no progress, he’s not going to swim… no chance! (sic!) Even banned from group lessons (luckily parents fought that!)
So, after single kicks and lots of time spent under water we decided to go deeper… I mean deeper part of the pool. That was great! With freedom under water and ability to float Dean was like fish! We’re working on full front crawl and back crawl now as well as breaststroke. All of them from single basic moves to complex kicks, arms finally full strokes. With our ups and downs, days that everything works great and days that not… We’re getting to our goal. Proper swimming. Through that Dean’s developed his breathing that he used to dive. He can easy stay 20-25 seconds under water. I’ve seen other people panicking and trying to pick him up… I needed to calm them down and explain that he’s ok… Yes, Dean has his safe, quiet bubble under water.
So far we swim full lengths on front back, with and without float. It’s not always consistent but it’s great fun. At the moment we’re at the stage that trying to take our sessions as work not only fun. But it’s a way to work with Dean- through fun! Although all plans for session I’m always looking forward as you never know what Dean has for you!
Yes, Dean is on spectrum and I love #ASDswimming