Our Stories - Andy's in the Swim

Andy MacGillivray is doing swimmingly well – after the Teddy Bear Foundation paid for a series of swimming lessons in his local pool.
It is a by-product of five-year-old Andy’s Autism that prevents him from having any fear of water.

On a recent trip to a beach near his family home in Dunoon, Andy’s horrified mother watched as he waded further and further into the freezing water.
Jennifer MacGillivray explained:”He had no concept that he was placing himself in danger.

“We had to hold him back for about 20 minutes before he finally gave in.”
Jennifer wrote to the Teddy Bear Foundation to see if we could help prepare him for any encounter with water.

Because of his condition, Andy would not fit well into a traditional swimming class with other children.

So we were happy to pay £100 which will guarantee at least 10 swimming lessons on a one-to-one basis with Sharon, a specialist instructor.

They are now underway at the Riverside Centre in Dunoon, Argyll.

Said Jennifer:”The first time Andy was in the pool, he kept trying to enter the big pool.
“We have to keep telling him about the dangers of the deep end but if we constantly repeat the message, eventually he gets it.
“Sharon has worked carefully with him to gain his confidence in the water, getting his hair wet and explaining to him that he should not try to breathe underwater.
“Things are going so well, it’s now a struggle to get him out of the pool when his lesson’s over.
“Swimming is now a big part of Andy’s life and we are delighted to get the support of the Teddy Bear Foundation.
“It’s fantastic.”

Andy McGillivray can't wait for his weekly swimming lesson.

Instructor Sharon gets Andy used to having his hair wet.

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