After having taken Raya swimming a couple of times last year and attempting pool therapy with her PT once or twice, I did not have high expectations that today would be a productive session. Not that there's anything wrong with that, a lot of kids need time to adjust to something new. I'm happy to say though, that she definitely exceeded my expectations. I know having Raya in the pool by herself with the therapist (sans Kaida and me) helped a lot. She LOVES "Buh-buff" (Elizabeth) and they've been working together long enough now that Raya trusts her.
When they first got in the pool, Raya was clinging to Elizabeth for dear life. I had to fill out paperwork and by the time I got back, they had progressed from clinging for dear life to paralyzed by fear + relaxing in the pool:
(pardon the crummy cell phone pictures, I had enough to carry without bringing a real camera. and yes, that is my reflection off of the glass in pretty much every picture :)
Elizabeth had all kinds of fun things for Raya to play with to keep her mind occupied while her body adjusted to being in the water. She got to sit on a big float and play with some giant beads on a string (something like that, anyway :)
After a few minutes of that, Elizabeth put Raya back into the water and had her gathering up some little floating things and putting them in a bucket. (It was hard for me to see what they were doing a lot of the time and it's even harder to figure it out in these little cell phone pics. :)
When Raya was done with that game, they chased a ball around for a few minutes. Those two activities really got Raya to relax and more or less forget that she was supposed to be freaking out about being in the water. :)
From there, they moved on to Raya sitting in the middle of a giant floaty noodle thing. From where I sat, it looked like she went back to her clinging for dear life mode during that part.
And last but not least, Raya and another therapist pushed the ball back and forth to each other for a couple minutes. She LOVES all the attention she gets at therapy!
Overall, it was a VERY good first pool session. I had so much fun watching her that it almost made up for having to listen to (and ignore) the other 3 kids whining and complaining about not getting to swim in the pool too. :)
Raya looked totally worn out when she got out of the pool, which I was happy about. :) Her appointment was from 10:15-11:05 and I usually put her in bed for a nap somewhere during that time, so it was perfect. She got a little shower complete with baby wash after she was done. She looked so cute standing there in her little swim diaper. :)
Once she was all clean, I took her to the dressing room and got her dried off. I was talking to her about going swimming with Miss Elizabeth and she seemed to have enjoyed herself. I asked her if she liked swimming and she said, "Yeah! Fwimmeen!" Which is even cuter when she looks like this while saying it:
|First day of pool therapy: wildly successful :)|