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We’re All Booked Up This Spring

Connor decided he wants to play soccer.  This was a surprise to us, because we’ve tried to explore sports with him over the last couple of years, but he hasn’t been interested.

We’ve visited Tai Kwon Do classes.

We’ve visited gymnastics classes.

We’ve visited soccer fields.

And baseball fields.

Nope, I don’t want to.  Can we go to Chuck E. Cheese?  I don’t want do play sports.

Sure.  No pressure.  We just want you to know that you have options.

He must finally be ready because, during the holidays, he started talking about soccer.  We talked about what it means to be part of a team.  And we talked about how he will have to finish the season, no matter what, once he makes the commitment.  Plus, it costs money, and I’m not throwing away money on something he doesn’t stick with.

We gave this a lot of thought, wondering whether we should pursue a regular soccer group, or something through Special Olympics.  Connor falls somewhere in the middle of needing extra support, and being able to keep up with typical peers.  It’s a tough spot to be, because it makes choices difficult to make.

sports scaleWe had to make a similar choice back in the days of needing daycare.  We went with a typical daycare, which ended up being a very bad decision and a source of much grief.  The last thing we wanted was for this to turn into another situation where Connor feels anxious and can’t cope.

Luckily, we found a typical league with non-competitive teams.  We chose this option because we felt like Connor didn’t need the level of support that others require that choose Special Olympics.

And I worried.  I worried and fretted and stressed about how things would go when the season started.

It started this week.

So far we’ve had one practice meet, and it went well.  Connor followed along with the drills and practice, and only lost focus a couple of times.  I was a bundle of nerves until it was over.  And then we were in the car and headed to get him a Happy Meal, congratulating him over and over for a great practice.

I think it’s going to be okay.  She says, with cautious optimism.

So I guess we’re sports parents now (not the bad kind).  At least for the next 10 weeks.




About Flannery

Kid, husband, dogs, my mother, full-time job, maximum stress, minimal relaxation...sooner or later I had to vent. AND we moved from California to Texas. I could start a whole other blog about that.

16 responses »

  1. I recently learned that the term “autism mom” is incorrect and SHOULD be mother of a child with autism because you’re not “autisms” mom. So applying this to the rest of life…

    Congratulations on becoming a “mother of a child who plays soccer.”

  2. That is so great…soccer is hard all sorts of rules and social skills in the mix…all the boys at sturla school play soccer and he does not get it at least not yet….I thinking so hard as to how to open that door.
    Go Connor

  3. I hope he really enjoys it. My son plays in a VIP league, which is for special needs kids. He absolutely loves running and kicking the ball. I think team sports are excellent for kids..they learn so much about working together, trying to get along with people they normally wouldn’t hang out with, and losing graciously.

  4. We tried preschool sports soccer here and Little Miss had a good time — I think the noncompetitive thing and just focusing on the teamwork and ball handling skills was really the key. I hope Connor enjoys it!

  5. Go Titans indeed! That’s the name of my son Ian’s baseball team. And for the first time ever, Andrew will also play baseball in the Challenger league, where his brother and other players will act as buddies and assist the special needs kiddos on the field. So exciting! Congrats Connor! We’ll be rooting for you buddy1

  6. Much to the dismay of our pediatrician and loopy case manager from the child study team, sports are just not plausible for us, for several reasons. So I remain a deadbeat “mother (sumthin) of a child with autism who doesn’t play sports.” Eeegads.

  7. Go, Connor! So glad you found a non-competitive league. My kids played in non-competitive leagues and competitive leagues, and I hated the competitive leagues. All the adults were jerks. I just wanted my kids to have fun and learn a few skills and be part of a team. I hope Connor has a great time!

  8. Have you got your soccer car magnet yet? That will make it official 😉

    We too fall into that in between and it does make it so hard to know which way to go on certain activities. We tried soccer but I think Cameron was still too young and way overstimulated. I’m glad to hear that so far it’s going great for you all. That gives me hope!

  9. You are my role model. Awesome Conner! The new haircut, sports….what’s going on over there?! 😉

  10. That’s so great! Way to go Connor! Hope he really enjoys it! We’re still trying to find our Connor’s “thing”. We’ve tried soccer, karate, and he even tried joining his brother in Irish dance…that was a no. He’s expressed interest in a local art class (which considering his lack of any kind of fine motor skills shocks me but hey if he wants to work on those fine motor skills who am I to say no!)

  11. We fall in between as well, but have found success in “typical” leagues so far. We have done everything at the “house” level, ie, less competitive than travel sports. And we always, always, always have “the talk” with the coach. We tell them about our son, his challenges, how he sometimes will lose focus or appear to not be listening even though he’s absorbing everything. How the coach reacts to this chat will tell you a lot. Most have been fantastic.


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