Jake has severe dyspraxia, autism and gets very anxious. Having dyspraxia has meant all his motor skills were delayed and he has issues with co-ordination and being able to keep up with his peers in physical activities, which means PE at school is not a happy time and he is often left behind in activities so then gives up.
The Wave Project is brilliant, the volunteers are such cool people and Jake was delighted to be included by them. They instantly built a good relationship with him even before going near the water, therefore when it came to going on the beach he didn’t look back. They encouraged him to be as independent as possible, without seeing him struggle – even with carrying his own board (with help) which made him feel really part of it.
Once in the water, the volunteers are so tentative that he felt completely safe, they made it so fun for him and went crazy with praise when he achieved even the smallest thing or overcame any slight anxiety. This really drove him to keep trying even when he fell off and by the second week I could see so much more confidence and determination in him.
The sheer pleasure he gained from it was invaluable in itself and since last summer when he did the six weeks course, he has really enjoyed swimming a lot more, even the a pool and has improved on this greatly and can now swim over 500 metres.
We continue to be part of the surf club and every time we are contacted to join in a session, he is so excited and loves every minute of it.
I couldn’t speak highly enough of the project and it’s volunteers.