During the sensory processing course I attended this week, someone suggested our youngest son would benefit from wearing flippers when he is swimming. He has a tendency to let his legs slump in the pool, so that he is at a 90 degree angle and although he tries hard to get his legs pumping hard and does get across the pool, he uses up a lot of strength to swim that way. He has an underactive proprioceptive system, which means he struggles to know the position of his body, therefore when he is in a mass of water like a swimming pool, he cannot feel his legs. By wearing flippers, he would regain some awareness in his feet.
At his lesson on Friday, he wore flippers for the first time and his instructor was stunned by the transformation as he powered across the pool throughout the whole lesson. The more he practises like this, the sensations will filter into his proprioceptive system and in time he will be able to use his legs on their own to swim as he will know what it is meant to feel like.