This morning was wet (very wet!) Rainy days can be pretty challenging for us as Toby loves being outdoors…but isn’t a big fan of the rain(shame as we live in the North East!) Also most places that most other people visit on wet days are too busy for Toby to cope with.
We decided to check out Haven Point swimming pool in South Shields (as we had heard good reports!) and we weren’t disappointed! South Shields is about 40mins from our house and so we left about 8:15am and were changed and in the pool for 9:05am.
The first surprise was the fact that it only cost us £5.20 for all four of us! I love a good carers discount. The building is really impressive – lovely and clean and moden. The changing rooms were also really spacious and clean. The design is well thought through with a large lane pool on one side of the changing rooms and the leisure pool on the other this makes the leisure pool very family friendly and much safer than similar places that we have visited. The pool area itself is fantastic. A teaching pool, a shallow play pool, a toddler water play area with little slides, two large water slides and a family jacuzzi pool. Toby was amazed as soon as we walked in. He dived straight in and headed straight for the water play area and slid straight down the slide.
Toby then found the steps up to large water slides. He was only able to go on one of the slides as the second one was only suitable for children over 8 years old (try explaining that to a child with ASD who is obsessed with water slides!) The slide that he could go on was good with lots of lights and it was pretty fast too.
The family jacuzzi also has lights inside and the lights, bubbles and warm water really chilled Toby out. He made a little routine of jumping in to the jacuzzi pool every time he went down the water slide. Other similar places that we have visited in the past have rules for adults only in the jacuzzi (again try explaining that to a child with asd!) The sensory experience of the jacuzzi was fantastic for Toby – he had lots of claps and flaps!
As we arrived so early we were one of the first families in the pool today which meant Toby didn’t have to queue for slides and the noise levels were ok for him. The pool started to become busier as the time got closer to 10am. We stayed in until about 10:15am as by then Toby was struggling with the number of people and the increasing noise levels (which is understandable for a wet August day!)
We will definitely be back and again and will be there for opening time again! In my opinion Haven Point is one of the best swimming pools in the NE and is defiantly ASD friendly.
You can view some photographs and video clips here on the South Tyneside website.