I think a major concern for parents of autistic children is the belief that their kids will never experience the joy and benefits of sports in their kids lives. This is not the case and I can speak from experience that autistic kids, high functioning or not can benefit and be successful at sports. The question is simply: Which sport is your child going to excel at!
Eli tried soccer, and showed some promise but didn’t like it. He also played two seasons of little league and did very well at it but found it boring. At scout camp he tried fishing (not really a sport) and loved it, he also loved the archery. Wait, he also loves swimming, and shockingly enough finished 4th in the mile run out of like 18 kids.
Do you get the idea? It seems that Eli is better tuned at individual sports than group sports. With that in mind I decided tonight to invest $90 in a kids real recursive bow and arrows. I will take him to some group lessons, and give im the opportunity to experience more archery experience then he had at cub scouts and see if he still likes it. Worse case scenario, I will have saved his bow for his brother who is already demanding to use it.
The important lesson is to give your child every opportunity to try sports and teach them good sportsmanship. You will eventually find a sport your child is good at and loves. That is a huge accomplishment. I found that Eli is hard on himself if he does not instantly do well at any sport. It discourages him, so make sure you set expectations low for success and build it up always giving encouragement.
A few months ago Eli asked me if he could join the Boy Scouts. As a scout myself I thought it was a great idea but I was shocked at the lack of response from my local Den to my inquiries. I asked five different times and I had no response. Not a very good feeling. The scouts must have changed from the time I was a kid. Especially if they can decide NOT to welcome kids in.
Recently a school flier was sent home about scouting and my son approached me and asked if we could go. Who am I to say no to such a request so we went and had a fantastic time. A week later Eli has his Cub Scout uniform and we embark on our first camping trip this weekend. So what does this mean for me? And how will Eli react to all of the changes he is about to experience for the first time? Any PDD-NOS or Aspergers parent knows that a change in schedule and behavior can be a melt down situation and one thing we parents try to do is prepare our kids for these eventual scenarios.
So tonight I will help Eli build the tent (weather permitting) in the backyard. I will go out and spend money on sleeping bags, and all the other various camping things we will need and hope for the best. I am sure I will hear the I want Mommy bit sometime during the trip and I just hope I can redirect him to something that will calm him down. I am looking forward to being outdoors, hiking, archery and rock climbing. I just hope Eli embraces it.
I always watched other parents in amazement. Gymnastics on Monday, swim Tuesday, Boy Scouts on Wednesday, Karate on Thursday and T-Ball on Saturday, and that is just for one kid. Imagine now you have multiple kids and unless they are all doing the same things (unlikely) and they are all the same age (more unlikely) then you have to double up the schedule. This has never been a problem until now for me because Zachary is still young enough to where his activities are not so well rounded but Eli is a different story.
Eli now has swim, T-ball and is joining Cub Scouts. With T-Ball now encroaching the weekdays with games on Thursdays this leaves a lot of running around: Monday is swim, Wednesday is Boy Scouts, Thursday and Saturday are T-ball. Add make up games, Jodi’s hectic soccer schedule (practice on Monday and Friday nights) and weekend games there just isn’t enough time to sit and relax. Recently I have had to trim things out of my schedule like Masonry. Thursday nights used to be my meeting nights, now lodge is just a passing thought (a shame).
I want Zach to start taking swim also, that way he is comfortable around and in the water this summer. I need to speak to Jodi about that. I also want Eli to start playing soccer! I guess I have to wait until I am older to slow down a bit because it looks like I am going to moving at a faster pace over the next ten years!
Ok well superstar is a bit premature but heck a few years ago I always wondered if Eli would ever be able to participate in a team sport. We were encouraged to get Eli involved in an individual sport so we enrolled him in swimming (which has done a great job with) but soon Eli started asking about soccer and baseball.
Enrolling him in T-ball is just another lesson for parents with children who are on the spectrum. Although Eli has been declassified it was still a worry for us, but as always Eli has jumped at the chance and shown that he is more than capapble of holding his own socially, physically and mentally with all the other kids. In fact, Eli has been more social (I credit Ralph – his SEIT) and Eli’s own desire to have fun and enjoy himself.
So T-Ball started and Eli is doing great. He hits the ball well, catches the ball and can run the bases. You have to see him smile when he plays and it really makes me proud. Today we have a practice where the coaches (of which I am one) will try to get the kids to actually not run from center field to the pitchers mound each time the ball is hit. I equate it to bumblebee soccer. They all just want to be part of the game.
I have to download some pictures and post them. Too funny!
The lesson in this is simple: Never under estimate your child when it comes to social activities and sports. They might just surprise you and you never know if it can be the trigger they need socially.
I recently purchased a road bike and started riding. Although I am quite new at it, I find myself addicted to it and wanting to ride more and more. However, every person has their limits and endurance and I am finding getting into the groove to be difficult.
I have done the following rides:
3.88 to get the bike home
7.20 (ride with co-worker at lunch)
8.58 (solo ride)
8.72 (solo ride)
My goal on my next ride is to finally break the 10 mile barrier, but I have longer term goals such as my first bike marathon of 26.2 miles, 50 miles, and then the ultimate 100 mile ride. I am not sure how long it will take me to reach each of these goals but I do know this. I am committed to the task. It is just such a thrill to get off the bike exhausted after a ride and know that I achieved something. This does not seem like exercise and already I feel like I am seeing a physical benefit from riding.
Just some helpful hints if you are like me and starting out:
Get Bike shorts with a nice chamois padding. It saves your tush!
Hydrate while you ride
Wear a helmet, gloves and make sure you have money, spare tube, patch kit and a cell phone on you
Watch out for traffic and pay attention to the road.
Let someone know your route and anticipated leave/return times
Try to ride with someone at your level, it makes riding longer distances easier!
Above all, have fun, go at your pace and increase your weekly distance you ride by no more than 10%. It saves you from burn out and physical injury.
The Baseball Hall of Fame is a museum of history for the sport of baseball. Within the walls stands all of the amazing players, amazing feats and unbelievable plays from the game. More importantly it is a living testament to the game of baseball and it is for this reason I feel strongly that Pete Rose should be inducted immediately.
Pete Rose as a person is a complete loser. Anyone who meets him, I am lucky enough not to have met him, describes him as a shady individual who always seems to have alternative motives for everything. I have heard him described as a loser, a money grabbing pig, and various other not so flattering terms. But this has NOTHING to do with his achievements on the field.
As a ball player Pete Rose was one of the best in the game:
1963 Rookie of the year
17 time All Star
National League MVP
MVP nomination 15 times
2x Golden Glove
Silver Slugger Award
160 Home Runs
146 Stolen Bases
.303 career batting average
.375 On Base Percentage
.409 Slugging Percentage
Those numbers are Hall of Fame numbers. As a player he deserves to be recognized for his achievements.
Now comes the gambling. He bet on baseball which I understand is against the rules, but he never bet against his team or did anything that is apparent to make them lose a game. His personal choices in life have been flawed, no doubt about it. But here is where the HOF has the right to enshrine him, and make an example of him. Celebrate him as a player, and tell the story of his gambling and what it has done to Rose. Put the history of the entire career on display in the hall and let it serve two lessons. One as congratulating a player who was amazing, and one as a lesson to all the kids out there that gambling is not acceptable in the game, and how it has brought great shame on Pete Rose in the eyes of fans, baseball and sports in general.
One last thought. Bud Selig watched as players in the game were using performance enhancing drugs. He watched two players battle it out for the home run record knowing full well they were not clean, but because it was good for baseball, he let it slide. This man has no right to be making the decision on Pete Rose. This man should not be in baseball for much worse offenses against the game than Pete Rose ever committed.
Tell the story of Rose, the good, the bad and put it all for everyone to see in the HOF. It is the right thing to do.
Eli was a brave boy when it came to swimming when he was a year old. At the YMCA we would participate in classes and thought that this was going to build a good foundation of confidence near water. What we didn’t expect was the second year to be the opposite. Getting Eli into the water from 2-3 years old was almost impossible.
This year we knew the only solution was to get him into a swimming school with a great teacher. We thought, and we were correct that Eli responds differently to teachers than us, and will do almost anything a teacher asks him to do without the tantrums and whining. So we enrolled him into Safety Swim and over the last six weeks we have watched him grow as a swimmer.
Just a quick recap: Week 1-3 was all about calming him down and getting him to stop crying. Eli has sensory issues and hates to be wet. So sprinklers, squirt guns and splashing…. they are all on his not fond to be around list. The good part was Eli’s willingness to try and he really did have a good attitude, albeit he was a big clingly.
Week 4 -6 has been a bit different. Eli will float by himself with his swimmies on, will jump in the side with just a bit of hesitation and goes underwater more, although he still throws a cow. At the end of our first six weeks we realize one thing, he needs another series of 6 weeks and it looks like this is something he will be doing for a long time. The instructors, who have been excellent say that all of this is normal behavior and he is doing very well. I hope that in another six weeks I will come back and look at this and laugh. I hope my kid turns out to be a dolphin, wanting to swim all the time. How else are scuba diving parents going to ever survive if our kids are not water babies.
I am a dog lover so you might be shocked to know that I am in full support of Michael Vick returning to the NFL, but hear me out so you might understand my point of view before dumping nasty comments all over my blog. At first I was against Vick ever getting a chance in the NFL, because I found the entire dog fighting thing to be disgusting and completely unacceptable. In my mind, he suffer just like his dogs.
Then time passed and Vick served his jail time. He went to court, he lost the case, he was punished and served what the judicial system found to be the correct punishment for the crime. He has paid his penalty, he no longer owes a debt to society. He has a clear record now, a negative cloud over his head but in the eyes of the judicial system he is now a free man.
So explain how the National Football League has the right to say that the punishment Vick paid already is not enough? Since when is the National Football league the higher moral compass than our legal system? It is not as if he got off and served a week in prison and paid a fine. He did his time, he paid his fees and hopefully he learned his lesson. The NFL is just a job. It is like telling an ex-con that he can’t get a job working at a job he likes (and does well) because he was once in jail. The NFL should respect the legal system and give Vick a shot at coming back. Maybe tag along a requirement that he does a certain number of public information spots on pet responsibility or something but allow the man to get his life back.
The league is not going to be “cleaned up” because they ban Vick for life. In fact, this is the perfect opportunity to do the right thing. Vick should be a spokesman for second chances, for learning from his mistakes and now he can make a difference on the football field and off.
Just my thoughts. Discuss.