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ISR / Infant
ISR / Infant Swim Resource / ISR / Infant Swim Resource / - PUT 5-YEAR-OLD UNDER THE WATER 6 TIMES, FOR SEVERAL SECONDS
14th of Jul, 2011 by User721933
We signed up our 5-year-old for swimming lessons at INFANT SWIMMING RESOURCE / ISR / At the beginning of the first lesson, our son told the instructor that he didn't want to put his face in the water. She asked why not. He replied, "Because I don't want to die." She assured him she would NOT let go of him and that he was safe. Keep reading and you'll see why we think that was a lie. During the first 10-minute lesson, she tried to get him to float on his back but he wouldn't put his head back in the correct position. He was frightened and shaking but we assumed he would warm up to her, learn to trust her, and then follow her instructions. She seemed kind at first but also very firm. He did not warm up to her at all. On the second day, she took him into the pool and once again tried to get him to float with her supporting him. At no time did she teach him how to hold his breath, or kick his legs, or move his arms the correct way. She only put him on his back, supporting him with her leg, and tried to get him to lay his head back. He was unsteady on her leg and rocking back and forth on his back, so he kept thinking he was "falling." He was shaking again and wouldn't put his head back. She said to me, "I might need to dunk him tomorrow." I thought she meant she would blow in his face and start teaching him how to hold his breath. She didn't wait until the next day, however, and she didn't just "dunk" him. She removed him from her leg and just let go of him, letting him sink completely under the water. He was floundering and panicked under the water, not knowing what to do. I could see his arms flailing and his legs frantically moving. LET'S BE HONEST ABOUT THIS. HIS BRAIN TOLD HIM HE WAS DROWNING AND HE RESPONDED TO THAT BY PANICKING! That is not "swimming lessons." That is child abuse! She pulled him back up after a few seconds and tried to get him to float again. He was shaking violently, yelling, and saying "No! I don't want to!" She responded by repeating the simulated drowning 5 more times! She'd put him in her leg and if he wouldn't put his head back, she'd let go of him under the water again, causing him to kick and flail, trying to save himself from drowning!
All the while, she was chatting and calmly telling me he was "fine." Each time she pulled him up, he screamed louder and, in the end, was holding his arms out toward me while screaming, obviously wondering why I wasn't saving him from her. It took every ounce in my being not to jump in that pool and save my child and I will have to live with the guilt from my stupidity for the rest of my life. Before you attack me for letting this happen (believe me, I've already attacked myself), please understand that we thought we were dealing with a professional. Only after the few minutes of trauma and him getting out of the pool did I replay the terrifying events in my mind and realize that she was punishing him for not floating by simulating drowning (6 times!!), like the other mother's experience here. She was NOT teaching him how to swim. At no time did she ever broach the subject of holding one's breath, kicking, padding - NOTHING! He was being punished for not putting his head back - punished by withholding oxygen and making him think he was drowning (dying). In my opinion, this is no different than burning a child to teach them not to play with matches. CHILD ABUSE!!! I do feel all children should learn to swim but this is not the way to do it. Frankly, now that I've read complaints about this firm online, I can't believe the authorities haven't investigated them for child abuse. FORCING A CHILD UNDER WATER IS CHILD ABUSE!!! And, if any child has ever died in one of these lessons (reports online allege this has happened), it is my opinion that forcing a child under water knowing they might die certainly must be a violation of several laws! I can't help but wonder what type of controlling personality would get involved in something deplorable like this where they spend their days terrifying infants and young children, all in the name of "survival." God only knows what type of psychological damage occurs in these children, to say nothing of the lost trust between the child and the parent who allows this to happen. Our son did NOT want to get into our pool yesterday afternoon, and was begging me to not "make him go under." He used to love the pool! It could take weeks to undo the damage they did in just 1 swimming lesson where they made him flounder under the water, believing he was drowning. AGAIN, CHILD ABUSE!!!! This happened to our son 2 days ago and I've had nightmares about it for the past 2 nights. I will have to live with the guilt for the rest of my life for what I allowed to happen to our child, right in front of my eyes, just because I assumed that trained "professional" knew what was best. We have found a new, conventional swimming teacher and, when I told our son a new, kinder lady is going to teach him to swim, he was terrified. We have four other children who have all learned to swim in the past with no tears at all. I firmly believe all children should learn to swim but ISR's method is NOT the way it should be done! PLEASE LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKE AND DON'T LET THE SAME THING HAPPEN TO YOUR CHILD!
4639 days ago by ISRmom
My 2 year old son recently completed 5 weeks of ISR lessons. We had a wonderful, kind and effective instructor. I want to clarify for those who are researching whether or not to do ISR and are skeptical about it. ISR is not "swim lessons". It is meant for survival skills in the water to enable a child to float, or complete a swim-float-swim sequence depending on the childs age and progress. Although I cannot vouch for all ISR instructors (and you may want to contact ISR if you are concerned about the instructor you chose and her methods), they are supposed to be put through thourough training. There were definitely times during lessons where my son was very upset, which in turn made me feel upset, but our instructor was great about explaining her methods and I reallly was able to see his skills develop. She also got my husband and I into the water to show us what to do (and what not to do) to help him along. What eased my mind during lessons where he was upset was that when in the pool with me he was happy, unafraid and eager to "practice" his new skills. With the instructor the skills are work, and with me they are more play, which accounts alot for why children are often more upset with the instructor. From what I understand, children under the age of 4 are not able to effectively lift their heads above water, and that is why traditional swim lessons are not appropriate for them. I know of no other program other than ISR that teaches real survival skills for children under 4. I tried a different program the year before that stated their goal was for the baby to be able to float on their backs by the end. It ended up being more of a "play in the water" program, with some skill involved. It did absolutely nothing for my son as far as being able to float, and he was actuallly more upset during the program than with ISR. That being said, if your child is over 4, there are probaby alternative "swimming lesson" programs that may be better for your child. ISR is intense, and a huge commitment, but is a great program for parents with children under 4 who want them to be "safer" in the water. We were very lucky to have such a great instructor, but I know they are not all created equall. If you are uncomfortable, or unsure of the instructor, I would definitely approach them about your concerns, and go to ISR if needed to see if there is a real problem. We live in FL, where there is water EVERYWHERE, and I feel so much more at ease knowing that my son has survival skills. They will never replace supervision, but anyone with a 2 year old knows how quickly things can go wrong. I am happy to say that after completing the ISR program, my son LOVES the water, and can't get enough of it. He is a little fish! Best of luck, to you, and I hope whatever route you choose, your son will be swimming soon!
4635 days ago by Mentzeddy
I completely agree with the above comment. My son (14 months) is in ISR right now for the first time. These are not swimming lessons and I woudl have to say that the poster's comment lead me to believe that there was little to no research done on her child's behalf. Look at the site, watch the videos (on YouTube). At no time are swim lessons ever mentioned. ISR is strictly designed to provide the necessary skills to a child to prevent drowning. At our first lesson, our sone cried and it was hard. He has been in the pool a few times with me and enjoys it, especially since when with me his head is kept out of the water and he has just about every floatation device around attached to him. In ISR he is with an unfamiliar person, he does get dunked (no more than a second) and it is work. This is like the crying ones self to sleep argument. Everyone has a different philosophy. In the end, I will be comfortable knowing that my 14 month old will be able to save himself from drowning if he were to fall into a body of water. Good Luck.
3817 days ago by Common Sense Mom
I live next door to an ISR instructor and I have to hear the BLOOD CURDLING SCREAMS as the babies are water boarded every day. The babies think they are going to die as their Mother looks at them not lifting a finger to help. Yes that is the definition of water boarding, when someone thinks that they are going to drown. I hear from the ones that can talk "I don't want to die" Mommy NO HELP ME...!!! They don't just cry, it is a BLOOD CURDLING SCREAM for their LIFE as they are being tortured. Our nerves are shot from hearing the helpless babies and it makes us shake. This is a scam to make money and lots of it. Put a fence around your pool and put a pad lock on it and watch your children. Then when they are old enough to understand what is going on, take them to a gentle swim class. They will learn quickly and it won't take years as the ISR torture does. ISR is CHILD ABUSE...!!!

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