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The swimmer should wear goggles to prevent any possible damage from chlorine and other chemicals in the water.

Bright, colorful toys should be used – beach balls, kickboards, pails and shovels, water-use stuffed animals, water squirters, etc.

The swimmer must be given the opportunity to explore the learning environment to orient self. This careful exploration can be enhanced if there is a constant sound source…a soft radio or the like… for the swimmer to use for orientation.

The swimmer must be given a chance to learn self-protective skills that include:

  • sensing the end of the lane because of the reaction of the waves in response to the incoming body
  • sensing the presence of another swimmer because of splashing and waves
  • announcing intentions if planning to jump in the water.

A totally blind swimmer may learn best if given the opportunity to "feel" the movement of another; this is particularly effective if paired with patterning the movement of the swimmer.

Open turns, rather than flip turns, give the swimmer a little leeway when lap swimming to find the wall rather than being surprised by it.

Lane lines help the swimmer stay oriented in the pool. The swimmer may want to wear tight fitting gloves to avoid being cut by the lane lines if off course.


Carol Huettig,Ph.D.
Visiting Professor
Texas Woman's University
Please reprint only with permission of the author

page last updated 10/9/2014 6:14 PM