Read Eve's inspirational story here...
Eve was born with an extremely rare chromosome condition called 3p25 deletion syndrome which causes both physical disabilities and learning disabilities. There are only about 54 people in the world with this condition. We were told she probably wouldn't walk and when she turned 3 and still couldn't sit up independently, we were told walking wasn't in her future.
Due to her severe learning disability, I suspect Eve will never learn to swim completely independently and it wouldn't be safe for her to do so anyway. But my philosophy with Eve has always been to get her to do as much as possible and swimming has always been the activity where her disability has had the least impact on her enjoyment and her freedom. I am so grateful to Lea and James and their other colleagues for enabling that to continue. And the disability swim session is absolutely brilliant and so vital as a safe space.
Eve has made huge progress in just a few weeks. She's really enjoying swimming full lengths and now understands she needs to reach for the end as we approach which is fantastic. (Believe it or not this realisation that you start at one point, progress along a distance and then reach an end is a stepping stone in very early maths skills so the repeated reinforcement of these concepts by swimming lengths is beneficial for her cognitive development too). Eve's happy swimming on her back, or holding on to my arm and being pulled along. She's happy if I push her from behind and she's really using her arms well - she has a pretty good butterfly stroke (of sorts!) and is just starting to alternate her arms front crawl style too.
I'll leave you with a quotation from Eve's favourite programme, Fraggle Rock - "Either everyone matters or no-one does. I prefer the former."