Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Advice would be welcome here. If you know me much on here, you know I am usually quite a positive person!
My gym has been great for me and hubby. We love it, great personal trainers, lots of equipment, clean, chill atmosphere, no one is intense, just regular people.
However, we signed up for a family membership due to the amazing price and the fact they put themselves out there as a family place.
Signed our 2 kids up for swim lessons - they both have high functioning autism and although we were pretty sure they'd be ok regardless, we made sure their interventionist or one of us could be there for every lesson just in case.
Well, each time has been an exercise in awful. First off, they do not have a family changeroom. This means that if I or the interventionist goes, it should be ok because our son is 10 and old enough to be in the men's changeroom. If my hubby goes, it's not good because our little girl is 7 - too old to go in the men's with dad, too young to be on her own in the ladies' changeroom.
We have tried various compromises. We brought our kids in their swimsuits and sent the girl through the changeroom on her own. That was apparently bad, we can't do that. We brought them in their swimsuits and asked a staff member to bring our girl though.
That was fine at the beginning of the lessons, but at the end on the pool deck, apparently this was not an acceptable solution as they don't always have staff (not true, there is always a female staff member up front).
We brought them with the interventionist, sent our son through to change on his own, and he walked into the pool naked (autism, remember?). This wasn't good, understandably, but here's what that led to.
Their solution? They have a tiny, poorly curtained off area on the pool deck, and they want us to come through a different door to the pool area, go over there and change together.
Now, I know some of you may not know autism particularly, but let's just say I would not be willing to give that a shot with the possibility of having that curtain whipped open by either of my lovely children at any time, having them dash off from behind the curtain and run around on the deck naked, etc.
This was explained to the pool staff but still they called me at home and spoke to me about this new protocol - I am the only one who does not go to the lessons with them, but they felt it was ok to talk to me specifically.
Finally, the next to last lesson our son hit his head fairly hard, hard enough to get a bump, and the pool staff did nothing about it, they just ignored him - had the interventionist not been there, it could have been very ugly with my son losing it all over everyone!
To be clear, there are 3 or 4 kids in this set of lessons and 1 instructor. Not sure how she didn't notice the injury but that's worrying.
oh and finally finally, today the interventionist said she went through the changerooms as did my son, on his own, there were no issues at all, lessons went great (and have every time by the way), and yet she was pulled aside at the end and told that she had to come through the other door and use the curtain to change.
Generally speaking, as you can see it's been a pretty awful experience. The real problem I have here, is that there was no attempt to work out a solution with us. The people who have spoken to us about this (all pool staff) have been overtly friendly, but not accommodating in any way, shape or form, in my opinion.
So I'm interested to know whether we are being completely unreasonable, or if we have a genuine grievance here.
I have liked the gym for the last few months but this may actually push me to move, the pool staff have made me feel so uncomfortable and my family so unwelcome.