Upon first hearing about the ISR program many years ago, I must admit that I was intrigued. After all, watching the videos of infants being thrown into the water completely clothed, and then watching them roll onto their back to float and then cry, I thought to myself that this was remarkable. I even investigated getting certified immediately! After researching the subject, I discovered there was not much of a market for ISR in NY, so I decided not to pursue it.
Over time I encountered a few alumni of ISR, and my observations are for starters that the program works! These babies do know how to roll onto their backs almost immediately upon getting their face wet. With them on their backs they then begin to scream and cry so that an adult is alerted as designed. This was great except when I tried to show them other skills, I could not get them to relax and stop crying. In fact, they wanted to get out so quickly I did not have the chance to even play or teach any other skills. This was true with each of the alumni of the program that came to me for lessons. Each child was very fearful of the water.
ISR is a hard water introduction while at Hudson Valley Swim, our infant program is a soft introduction to the water. We understand the importance of creating a fun and safe learning environment for all our little swimmers. We use songs and well thought out organized games and activities geared toward getting each child comfortable with the water. This also helps moms and dads during tubby time at home. We do focus on submersion and getting the little ones to roll over and float on their backs, but we do so in a more nurturing way; one that builds confidence and helps them develop a fun and safe relationship with the water. This is more conducive to learning the skills they need to keep themselves safe and to give parents peace of mind.