“But despite all the little drawbacks, my son is learning to exercise in a group and more importantly, he has gained a sense of self-confidence.” – Kym Grosso.
Yesterday’s post about baseball and autism led me to think more about sports and autism after a comment from Katrin. I had mentioned that maybe playing pool would be good for children and adults with autism, because it’s not necessarily a team sport. The more I thought about it though, there is a lot that goes on in pool halls. Tables that are close together, loud music, lights from spirits signs, intoxicated people, even the noise of the balls slamming into one another could be overwhelming and surprising. A pool table at a rec center for children would be in a loud environment as well, so I’ve kind of nixed that idea. Katrin said that chess is prevalent among people with autism, as well as track and field type activities.
So this morning I googled “sports and autism” and found the most wonderful article written by the mother of a five year old boy with autism. She knew that exercise was so important for the mind and body, and when she had a son, she and her husband had visions of him being an athlete. But after his diagnosis, it became apparant that this wasn’t going to be an easy road.
They tried him at Peewee soccer, but he would just stand on the field, watching the other children run around him, not knowing who was on his team, sometimes kicking the ball towards his own goal. They tried him at t-ball and he excelled when it was time for him to bat, but when he was in the outfield, he’d sit in the grass and watch the other team bat. Football was out of the question and soon he didn’t even want to be outside, fearing that everything that flew was a bee. They thought about indoor basketball, but again, that was too much for him.
What is a parent to do? They know exercise is vital, especially for children, and they wanted to get him involved with other children. The soccer attempt had been a wake up call, really showing them how different their son was from the other children.
Would most parents throw up their hands and give up at this point? Maybe. Not these parents though. They found a solution. And it brought tears to my eyes.
Click here, to read this story. It just goes to show that if we keep looking, we can find a passion that suits us all, no matter our weaknesses, we can find our strengths.