|She can actually put her feet up on the bar next to her hands and swing there!|
So, first we found a gym...we visited two and felt right about one of them. As it turns out, one of the team coaches has a daughter with down syndrome and she has been taking gymnastics there since she was little and still takes classes a few times a week as a teenager. I have met her, I have seen her skills and she.is.impressive! Her posture is wonderful, her strength is amazing, but what is most encouraging to me is her confidence. She knows she is good at gymnastics and it shows...doesn't everyone like to excel at something?
We started taking classes in August...every Tuesday for 45 minutes. Emily is in a parent-tot class so that we can get her used to all of the equipment as well as getting her used to being in a very large gym with lots of equipment and about 80 children of various ages taking classes at once. I have to say...the first few classes I think I exercised more than she did and my back suffered for it. She wanted to run, she wanted to explore, she wanted to touch every piece of equipment on the floor. Basically, she wanted to do everything she wasn't supposed to do...in true toddler form!
Now that we have been taking classes for a few months, I can say she is doing so much better. She knows how to follow the course at the direction of the teacher and myself, her strength has improved tremendously. When we first started classes she could not jump on the trampoline...now she can bounce about 10 times before she falls. We are about to move her to a class with children that are closer to her age and I think she is ready now...but if she's not we will revert back to the status-quo. Not because I don't think she can do it, but because she LOVES gymnastics and I want her to continue to love it and feel successful. She asks me just about everyday "nastics class today, OK?" and when I say "yes, it's Tuesday Emily and we can go to gymnastics today!", she says "AWESOME!"