Monday, August 22, 2011

Football and Autism- can they mix?

After watching the boy practice this last Saturday I totally get why the Mister says it is painful. He seems to be trying so hard- for awhile anyway. Then he hangs back and hides so as not to get picked for certain drills. Drills where they are hitting. He is not a hitter. That would be a good thing under normal circumstances- but when playing football it is kind of a requirement.

He likes to run- he likes the physical exertion of it all- until it's time to hit. Personally I think he should be quarterback- everyone protects the quarterback and they don't have to tackle a whole bunch. But unfortunately he isn't much on throwing the ball, and he is just learning how to read plays... maybe a running back? If he stops running like a girl that is- and then all I can hear in my head is "Run Noah! Run!"  In my best Forrest Gump voice.

Right now-  I truly have to say I am so proud of his effort. We have just begun week 2 and he has yet to complain, has not whined once about getting ready to go- and believe me- getting him ready is an ORDEAL...cup, girdle (full of pads), pants, rib protector, shoulder pads and helmet- it is exhausting just helping him get dressed.

 In the last few years I have been so focused on writing, math, social skills and the like- I was floored the other day when I realized my boy is 9 years old and still cannot tie his shoes.  There have just been more important things to work on.  So now that, along with practicing taking his helmet on and off, snapping it, and wearing his mouth guard- he must learn to tie his shoes. No pressure boy...no pressure.

We had to have our first meeting with the coaching staff and the vice president of our league regarding the boy and his not wearing his mouth guard and keeping his helmet on. It is a safety issue and the coaches are first and foremost concerned with keeping the boys safe. So the vice president tells us he went out and found a lady who started an all autistic kids soccer league.  She gave them some pointers about things to keep the boy going. I was IMPRESSED. They went above and beyond and are wanting to help the boy learn the game, but stay safe. I got a little choked up to be honest- it was a wonderful thing and not something every organization would have done.

So week 2 has begun- and our first scrimmage is in a week. The first real game is in almost 2 weeks.   My little cheerleaders sound like chipmunks, and Teenzilla got a "solo" in her cheer. And the mister just told me the boy has been assigned as a tackle...we'll see how that pans out.