What is it about?

The rollercoaster adventures of parenting three kids, dealing with disability and mental health - and discussing disability discrimination and how to tackle it.

Sunday, 3 March 2013


This is the response I got from the swim center...

Dear Heike,

Thank you for your letter and I will do my best to answer some of the issues you raise surrounding BooBoo (her blog mame btw guys) and her enrolment within our Schools Program at Killarney Heights Carlile.

I have had a meeting with Michelle, our Schools Coordinator and she has given me some understanding of the communications she has had with the School, BooBoos carer and yourself.

Firstly, Carlile’s philosophy “To swim well is an asset for life” certainly resonates throughout all our centre’s and endeavours to encourage everyone to learn and train in swimming, for its many benefits both physical and mental.

I must emphasise that there is some resilience, in in our regular swimming and schools program, to integrate higher functioning special needs children. We have had many success stories, of which Michelle has been at the forefront of these. We are however a mainstream swimming organisation that recognises the very real issues parents such as yourself deal with everyday. This is also why Carlile supports The Rainbow Club and I might add that I am investigating wether the Rainbow Club has enough participants to utilise our facilities on Sundays as I have made this available for an hour, in an effort to give some of our special needs children that will not progress any further in our regular program, a more convenient location of familiarity.

Secondly, when you mention ‘you don’t expect us to teach BooBoo how to swim’ this is contrary to our philosophy and not the arrangement Michelle had made with the carer on the first day of BooBoo’s enrolment. She was placed in a smaller class with the carer in a safe environment at what we call a Starfish level so she could learn basic floating, locomotion and confidence. To this end Michelle has told me that she has progressed well and given her limitations, could progress to a Goldfish level at some point. This is definitely the correct level for her physical needs; her emotional needs are, I believe, where our expectations are differing.

So finally this situation is unfortunately burdened to the expectations that were set or not set at the beginning of BooBoo’s enrolment into the School’s program.

JC School Program on that day is at capacity in the 25m pool and the arrangement with all schools is the same, that we have equally graded classes (as close as possible) teacher in water if needed and no more than 8 to 10 per class. This is the expectation for the parent’s teachers and students. The addition of BooBoo to this class with another adult in water will not allow the successful conducting of the class for the other students and as it stands cannot happen. Michelle is more concerned, as I am, to what happens when BooBoo’s fellow students move again, what expectation are we setting for her and her future development.

We believe we are supporting BooBoo and wish her to continue her school program journey. Michelle and I have discussed this situation and truly feel that this would not be in BooBoo’s or the schools best interest.

Yours truly,

Stephen (surname whitheld),
(Operations Manager)

My daughter's response: Me no go there anymore.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We will spread the word as far as we can and I hope many more people "no go there anymore" too.
We support you fully.
Jane & Julie Charlton