Sandra Donohue Shares Her Twins’ ISR Stories


We started our first ISR lesson with Lauren Horney in May 2013 after Sam (age 2) gave us a huge scare. In March 2013, while visiting family, Sam and his twin sister were playing in the backyard. I called him to come over to me. He thought it would be funny to run away from me, and ended up running onto the pool cover on the 8ft deep end. He was thigh deep in pool water, and I had to climb onto the cover to pull him off. Thankfully, the cover was strong enough to support us both!

When we started ISR, Sam was extremely resistant to it. He screamed and cried the entire time, all while quickly learning to float unassisted. He had learned to fall into the water, flip himself over, and float on his back (all while screaming his head off) in ONLY five 10-minute lessons!!! At the end of our 6 weeks, he loved the water, and Ms. Lauren.

We started up again in May 2014. After a year’s hiatus, Sam picked up right where he left off. He still loved Ms. Lauren and loved the confidence he had from ISR! He is a child that does not enjoy having his limits tested. When Ms. Lauren challenged him to swim underwater, eyes open, he fought her in the beginning. But ISR once again proved its effectiveness. My stubborn little guy has since learned to swim independently, float on his back to rest, and then swim to the steps of the pool, even on days he has no desire to be in the pool!


Zoe began ISR lessons with Lauren Horney in May 2013, after her twin brother ran onto a family member’s pool cover in the deep end and gave us a huge scare! Thankfully he was fine, but we realized that keeping an eye on twin 2 year olds was becoming dangerous. We chose ISR to give our kids confidence in their ability to swim and self-rescue, and respect for the dangers of water play.

When we started, Zoe was not a happy little lady. She screamed and clutched Ms. Lauren. By the end of the first week, everything changed. She realized she LOVED the water! She was happily jumping in the pool and had learned to flip herself onto her back and float to rest. After our 6 week session, she was hooked on swimming!

We began more intense swimming lessons with Ms. Lauren in May 2014. After a year off, Zoe picked up right where she’d left off and was even beginning to open her eyes underwater after 3 lessons. We have experienced some challenges with her in “the real world.” At that point she was 3 years old, but she liked to be like the “big girls.” The unfortunate part is that most 3-6 year olds have not taken ISR and can’t swim unassisted. When Zoe saw a girl swimming (she was paddling with her head above the water with a puddle jumper on), Zoe started to try to swim like the “big girl.” Paddling like this requires a lot more energy, but thankfully, she knows how to flip over and rest when necessary.

At the end of 6 weeks of lessons with Ms. Lauren, Zoe hit a tremendous milestone! My shy little girl is a confident force to be reckoned with in the pool. Zoe swam four full laps during her last class. I believe this small commitment the past two years has set her up for a lifetime of loving the water!


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