Classes at the Farmingdale Library:

My Fun Place
(programs for children with specials needs)

Me and My Buddy
Mondays, March 1, 8, 15
Time: 7:00pm
K-up; Special Needs
Spend an hour with a buddy. Read, play games,
and share some special time. Registration has
begun. Preference given to UFSD #22 residents.


Arts and Crafts

with Joanne Manning
Monday, March 22
Time: 7:00pm
All Ages, Special Needs and their family
Come make a masterpiece with artist Joanne
Manning. Pre-register beginning March 8.
Preference given to UFSD #22 residents.

Cooking at My Fun Place
Mondays, April 5, 12, 19, 26, May 3, 10
Time: 7:00pm
All Ages, Special Needs and a parent
We are ready to make some delicious treats. Join
your friends and The Baking Coach for this multisession
program. Pre-register beginning March
22. Preference given to UFSD #22 residents

So, I have tried a few activities.  Just to name a few…Baseball, Soccer, Karate, and Swimming.  To be quite honest, in between those sports classes there was also other classes like Gymboree, Kidville (NYC), ArtFarm (NYC), etc.  We tried a lot.  Now, all of them he really liked except Karate.  But, I think that had more to do with the instructor commanding attention—oh boy that was rough. 

I can’t tell you how many opinions I received from the physicians he would frequent about what type of activities he should do.  They constantly told me that I was crazy to put him in soccer, that it would be too hard for him to follow.  And, yes it was difficult…but he loved it!  Any you know what; he scored a few goals while he was at it.  But, I decided to hold off for a bit…I didn’t want to encounter the crazy soccer moms just yet.  So back to the doctors, they said he needed to work on his coordination and participate in a sports/activities that required both sides of his body.  For example, skating, swimming, karate, golf, baseball, to name a few.  After a lot of trial and error, this past October I think we found our activity…Swimming.  And I am not saying that because I am claiming he is a natural.  In fact, right now he is still working out some kinks but the smile on this boys face is worth everything to me. I think it was a “win win” situation. Tyler really loves the water, but likes it to be on the warm side (a sensory thing).  So I signed him up for Saf-T swim in Westbury (along with his sister).  That is where we met Zack.  Zack is Tyler’s coach.  Though Zack doesn’t really have any formal training with special needs kids, he is amazing.  Now, I do believe my son is incredible and hard not to love…but it takes a special person with patience to get Tyler to focus.  While Tyler practices I sit in the pool area and watch Zack never get frustrated, never stop smiling, and making sure he constantly praises Tyler.  Tyler’s confidence in the pool has increased 2 fold since we have been there.  So much, that he just jumps right in and goes under.  Zack came to me last week and told me that Tyler was ready to test for level 1.  I was a little worried, that if he didn’t pass that Tyler would be crushed.  But, Zack told me on that day he was confident Tyler would pass…and he did!  I was so proud of him!  I cried like a baby.  I have never seen Tyler so happy and proud of himself.  My only regret was I didn’t bring the video camera.  I can’t say enough how lucky we are that we found Zack!  So, swimming may not be for everyone but when you find that right combination between the activity and the coach, you will know!  We are sticking with swimming for sure, as long as Tyler keeps smiling.  And, we booked Zack through August,  that is how much Tyler loves working with him.  If you decide to do swimming, I would definitely head over to Saf-T swim (they have a few locations on long island) and ask for Zack.  Your child will love him and have a pressure free, fun lesson.  But, just know I have him booked every Thursday from 4-4:30 (lol)  Hope to see you there!

3 responses »

  1. We love Saf-T-Swim in Westbury too. My daughter, who is 5, takes lessons with Sam, however, I didn’t think Andrew was ready, he’s 3. Maybe I should talk to Andrew’s OT, (Andrew doesn’t receive physical therapy) and see if she thinks it could help with sensory issues. Thanks for the idea.

  2. You need to tell me when you are there. I will be interested to hear what OT said. Because when I took Tyler to a Neuro in NYC he had advised on the types of activities that Tyler should be doing. Swimming was at the top because it helps with coordination because you are working both sides of your body. Karate was actually the first but that actually didn’t work out. He also said that Neuro will help with physicial strength and stamina. And you know that Tyler has a lot of sensory issues so it has helped. But, it is very loud in there. Tyler doesn’t seem to mind but I can see how it could be hard to focus. If you do give it a try I would go for a trial. And, I would totally recommend Zack. He is teaching the basics but not trying to create the next Phelps. He has such great patiences and makes it fun. There was a point when Zack was out visiting colleges and Tyler had subs. They were great teaching skills but I noticed they were getting frustrated when Tyler wasn’t focusing. That really upset me. It didn’t make them bad instructors, I just think it takes a special person to have patience. And for us…it is Zack. Good luck let me know how it works out.

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