Blog #53~Scuba Diving, Really?
About a month ago I clicked the inbox to purge emails. I spotted one from Nick’s Adapted Physical Education (APE) teacher. Subject: Scuba diving…What the? I laughed picturing Nick strapped down with all that equipment on his back and around his face. I can’t even get him to leave a hat on for more than thirty seconds. I started to hit delete but something made me pause. I skimmed the information and hit reply. “I am not sure this is something that Nick could tolerate. What do you think?”
His APE teacher, Meredith Jordan wrote back. “I think we should give it a try! He really enjoys swimming and has no problem putting his head under water. He has also done an awesome job responding to directions given to him during class. It can’t hurt to try!”
Good point, what did we have to lose? After all, he does love to swim….See Blog #17~Life’s a Beach (located in the August 2012 archives) for more about Nick’s swimming experiences.
I read through the information, watched an ABC news piece and checked out the website (www.diveheart.org.)
Scuba diving is the only activity in the world that has zero gravity. And the enjoyment of that zero gravity gives people with various physical disabilities a special freedom. Jim Elliot started the organization called Diveheart and has been working with divers with disabilities since 1997. Elliot states that, “There’s a very, very short learning curve in scuba diving with for people with disabilities and without disabilities.” “Diveheart is a nonprofit whose mission is to build confidence and independence in children, adults and veterans with disabilities through the activity of scuba diving,” said Elliot. “We serve all disabilities. Kids with autism and Down syndrome, the vets coming back with traumatic brain injuries, amputations it doesn’t matter. The only thing that keeps you from diving is pressure related illnesses, open wounds and people with seizures can’t go deep.”
Fast forward to last week…. I opened up my laptop and found this in my inbox from Mrs. Jordan. I was stunned!
Here’s what Mrs. Jordan wrote about Nick’s scuba experience…..”It’s pretty cool; I was getting emotional watching him. He did such an awesome job and I was so impressed with how relaxed he was during the entire process. He followed their instructions without any hesitation. I would definitely recommend trying this again possibly with the same organization. The Diveheart instructors used verbal instructions for Nick. They did show him how to open his mouth wide to get the breathing piece all the way in. They thoroughly explained to him everything they were doing. They did not use visual pictures at all. I had a peer partner in the water with him assisting the instructor. The instructor did have to hold the breathing piece in his mouth for a while until Nick realized he had to hold it. Once he got the hang of it he did not want to come up! He was SO relaxed the entire time. They had pretend fish/water toys in the water and Nick LOVED diving for them! Needless to say, he did not want to get out of the water. He was in for about an hour!”
Look at my frogman go :)….
Diving for toys…..
Sometimes I have to remind myself not to set limits on Nick. Mrs. Jordan was right, it can’t hurt to try. Thank you Mrs. Jordan and Diveheart! 🙂 I am very grateful for Nick to be given this opportunity. I would never have thought to try something like this. Lesson learned, sometimes you have to *Think outside the box.
That’s what is in my noggin this week. 🙂
*Thinking Outside the Box according to The Phrase Finder means to think creatively, unimpeded by orthodox or conventional constraints. It originated in the USA in the late 1960s/early 1970s. It has become something of a cliché, especially in the business world, where ‘thinking outside the box’ has become so hackneyed as to be rather meaningless. The ‘box’, with its implication of rigidity and squareness, symbolizes constrained and unimaginative thinking.