Boy With Down’s Syndrome Ski Lesson

Last Saturday, I had my first lesson with a boy that had Down’s Syndrome. It went great. He skied really well. He was able to control his speed with a snowplow and even turn. He laughed a lot and had fun.

The challenge was communication but even though I couldn’t understand him too well, I was able to understand what he meant and what he wanted by what he tried to say and his pointing and everything. I didn’t find communication as a huge problem.

Like a younger child, he was maybe more concerned about where his dad was. That was maybe the biggest distraction during the lesson.

I only had him an hour but we did a bunny green run, then a longer green, then two down a wide blue run. He followed me and did what I did in his own way. I made him stop often to make sure he could stop. It was important to stop before any area where it was about to get steep. I give this tip to my students of any age, too.. stop before you get to a steep part so that you’re starting at zero instead of bringing all this extra speed with you. That sounds like anyone would just know that but once you get out there, that kind of thing is easy to forget since you’re thinking about a bunch of other things.

All in all, it was a good lesson and I look forward to more like that.

Side note: Last year and the year before, I somehow ended up teaching a bunch of beginner ski lessons on Spanish and I haven’t had any of those this year. I’m not fluent but with a cheat sheet, I can do it no problem.

-Tony

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