Teaching A Deaf Boy To Swim

teaching swimming to a deaf boy (1).jpgAs you might know I am a swim coach. I teach swimming to kids between the age of five to seven. In one of my groups is a little boy. He is five or six years old and deaf. He can read lips and he is able to talk, although it is really hard to understand him as he talks really quiet.

Communicating with him is hard. I always try to talk slowly and to tell him what to do with gestures. It works really good most of the time. For me there is nothing better than seeing him smile. He has the prettiest smile I have ever seen. It feels like his smiles come from his heart.

Both of his parents are deaf too and I have way more struggles understanding them than him. Sometimes it gets really frustrating because I don’t want them to feel bad. Ones his mom asked me something and I couldn’t understand her at all. I didn’t know what to do.

Today for example his mom switched up times and he ended up swimming in my later group with the older kids. After practice I wasn’t sure if his mom was going to pick him up on the deck or at the door. We went looking for her because I obviously couldn’t leave him alone. He tried to tell me something but it was too loud to understand. When we finally found his dad he looked really worried because it took him so long. I tried to tell his dad what happened but I am not sure he understood me.

I always wanted to learn sign language. I took American Sign Language in the beginning of my exchange year but I dropped it because I didn’t even understand English properly, which made learning a new language even harder. I do hope I will get to learn sign language one day. I have always been fascinated by it.

Doo any  of you know Sign Language?

Lots of Love

Just A Blank Space

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23 thoughts on “Teaching A Deaf Boy To Swim

  1. I think if you are taking the time to understand them and making yourself understood as much as possible, everyone will be ok with it. His parents, have probably dealt with communication difficulties their entire lives.

    You can try writing or drawing also. I teach deaf kids who talk rather than use signs and our first rule is “Never say, “Never mind.” Giving up on communication says, “You’re not important enough to me to keep trying..”

    Sounds like you’re doing great. Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. this is lovely, it’s great that there are wonderful peeps like you who are willing to learn and help as best they can. i had a deaf girl in one of my swimming classes and i guess she was in ours cuz our instructor already knew sign language, but i definitely think you can learn it if you want to. and i know that the fact you’re making an effort will mean a lot to him and his parents. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That was beautiful 🙂 Thank you for sharing this. I know how to spell in British Sign Language. My Grandma’s deaf so here are a few tips, which you probably know already: make sure you face him when you talk, so he can read your lips properly. Don’t overexaggerate your words, because that’ll make him or his parents feel frustrated. You’re doing an amazing job 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It sounds like you have dealt with him and his family very well. I think learning some basic sign language would be great for communicating with his parents. Maybe if you have something really important to tell them- you could write it down on paper or on your phone for them to read off, I know its not ideal but at least the message is sent across. I only know how to do my name in sign language, but I wish we could be taught it in school, rather than other languages as it means everyone can communicate- even the deaf x

    Liked by 1 person

                1. I am the only left handed person in my family. When they found out my grandma was shocked because back when she was young it was forbidden to be left handed. They would break the left arm and force kids to become right handed

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. That sounds horrible – we’re lucky it’s not like that now. When my parents were at school they tried to force them to be right handed by making them use their right hand but breaking the left arm is just a step too far.

                    Liked by 1 person

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