Northampton mum whose two-year-old son has Down Syndrome hopes to help other families by sharing their experiences
Samuel loves being in water and his mum says it has improved his muscle strength
A Northampton mum whose toddler has Down Syndrome is sharing their journey with the condition in a bid to help other families.
Tanya de Beer’s son, Samuel, is two-and-a-half and enjoys playing in the garden, riding his scooter and video calling his older siblings.
The youngster also loves splashing around in water when he attends Water Babies classes at Charterhouse pool in Flore with his mum, who never lets anything get in the way of his chance of having fun.
To mark World Down Syndrome Day, the family is now sharing their experiences and how swimming has helped Samuel in a bid to help and inspire others.
Tanya said: “I’ve always been of the mindset that Samuel shouldn’t be limited – we give everything a go, and he soon lets me know if he isn’t enjoying himself.
“By far, one of his favourite things to do is splash around in the pool.
“The water does great things for his physical development, motor skills and ability to understand instructions, but the best thing for us is the smiles we get when he’s in the water.
“He’s been swimming with Water Babies since he was eight weeks old, so it’s been wonderful to see how far he’s come.
“I would really recommend swimming lessons for little ones with Down Syndrome, or any other condition that impacts a child’s development.
“The time spent in the water has really improved Samuel’s muscle strength and the best part is, he’s having so much fun that he doesn’t even notice he’s exercising.”
One of the most common characteristics of Down Syndrome is a low muscle tone condition, called hypotonia.
Tanya says Samuel’s muscle strength has greatly improved due to spending time in the water, which is what she wants to tell other families in a similar position.
The mum added: “I’m very passionate about celebrating World Down Syndrome Day simply because we are very blessed to have Samuel in our family and it would be great if our story inspired other families to start activities, like swimming.
“I understand that joining local community groups can be a daunting experience, especially for parents of little ones with health conditions, but providing Samuel with as many opportunities as possible to be social and to help him step out of his comfort zone has really benefited him.
“The hardest thing for us over the last 12 months of lockdown has been keeping him occupied.”
Samuel and Tanya are excited to get back to the water classes when pools hopefully reopen next month.
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