Special Needs

This is what makes me sad.....

Sometimes it's just simple things that make me sad---like when I hear other moms talk about cub scout meetings and putting their LO in sports.  I want that too.  But knowing the behavioral issues that DS1 has--even though he tries super hard---is just too much on him and the organizations.  I did a "trial" of a t-ball this past summer--- it's for 3 to 5 yr olds and is not competitive at all--they just learn to run bases, swing a bat, etc.  And it was a disaster. 

The other thing that makes me sad is when DS1 tries so hard to talk to someone and they almost "make fun" of him not knowing his issues.  He appears like a normal kid---so they assume at his age he can speak clearly, etc.  Although his vocab has improved tremendously the last year---it's far from the "norm".  I'm just feeling great that he can actually speak words now and attempt a conversation with people--but they can't understand him and sometimes people make remards TO him like "dude, I don't know what you're saying" --and I feel like saying something but never know what.  I just want to cry sometimes.



Re: This is what makes me sad.....

  • I just want to give you a hug.

    I know how you feel.

    DS and I went to burger king and the only way he was able to play with another little boy on the jungle gym was because he brought toys. (I know it was my mistake to allow this). DS thought this little boy was his friend so he gave him a car (Mater) to play with so they can play together (DS was Mcqueen).

    Well towards the end the little boy took Mcqueen from DS and had Mater. DS was running after this little boy. DS could not say "That is my car." I had to intervene and the little boy's mom intervened. I thanked her though because she took those cars and gave them to DS and I took them away from DS.

    I am happy DS shared at least. In the back of my mind I worry about this and think what will happen the next time. Will DS be able to stick up for himself when he needs to?

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  • imagebubba2b:

    I just had an impromtu parent teacher confernence and am having a rare moment...so forgive me if I am too much sunshine.

    For dd with her adhd and language, team sports is off the table (for now). Why beat my head? My plan is swimming and running. We are working on the swimming throuugh the county at a special needs school. (been AWESOME) and running starts next year.

    Also the horseback riding helps with core but also gives a fabulous sense of confidence. Everyone else just thinks it's cool...they don't know the special need world conversations on hippotherapy.

    I have heard of leagues for special needs but we aren't there yet (schedule, time, me researching...etc).

    Lastly...DD at 5.5 is entirely different than even 5. Age is a number...time will change things. The preschool years are so tough. HUGS mama...I totally get it.

    Sunshine rays done...

    No--I LOVE sunshine--so keep it coming. Hearing that time changes things does help me a ton.  In fact, his teacher said that after age 4 I would see a difference--and a few months later I did.  So I'm hoping I see even more.  I spoke with a teacher I met at an event a couple weeks ago and she said when it comes to sensory issues---that around the age of 6-7 there are also huge changes and many times their bodies mature so much that they are almost "normal" to most.  So I'm hopeful!
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  • I do know how you feel. DS is not allowed to participate in contact sports, he's transplanted and it's forbidden. Yet people question us on getting him active, getting in sports, slimming down (he looks like a short chubby teen, you can't tell by his appearance he's anything but healthy). He swims, on a team. He's para coded, so most of the times he competes with everyone else, but they've made accomodations based on his ability. Para has opportunities for everyone in swimming, it's to me the most s/n friendly sport.

    And the swimming community has been beyond supportive. What seriously made me cry was when ds was put on a relay team with the other boys his age and although they were dead last, they were cheering so hard it was like they were winning the Olympics. When he got out of the water, his team was high fiving and hugging him and the parents were on their feet cheering. I was bawling like a baby, I couldn't help it. He was accepted and celebrated for being him and not being what people thought he should be. This is why I recommend it to anyone!

    OP, when your ds is older, I would try him in this!

  • I feel very much the same way when I see other children DD's age. We spent a weekend with friends who have a daughter who is only a few months older than DD. The differences were night and day. DD is 22 months but looks like she's 11 months, and acts much younger. It eats me alive every day.

  • My 7 y.o. just completed his first sport last week.  This is the first time that we felt like he might be successful and it was still really tough.  We signed him up for wrestling and while he did really well, I had to be right there with him the entire time to make sure he was staying with the group, listening to the coaches, practicing the right moves, etc.

    He didn't win any matches this year, but he felt really successful.  He was there, he learned the moves and he was a part of a bigger group.  He loved it.  I was about to rip my damn hair out, but he loved it.  

    I can say with certainty that had we tried to do something like this sooner, there is not a chance he would have felt like he does now.  For us, it is the social-emotional development, that held up the process of being able to join.  When I look at my son, he looks more like what I would expect from about a 4 y.o., so we finally gave it a try.


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  • are there not leagues for kids with special needs in your area?  in my small area there is a league for kids with special needs for soccer and t-ball.  my son is in soccer now and it's definitely not like a typical soccer game, but it's just about going out and having fun!  he loves it.  also i have several friends who have their boys who have autism in boy scouts.  not sure what the details on that are though.  are you perhaps expecting your son to play like the typical kids and that's why it becomes a disaster?  
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  • I think their capabilities shift over time. It may be that he needs more time before he's ready for those kind of activities; it may be that individual sports/activities, or those designed for kids with SN, are a better fit. 

    I had a similar experience to your t-ball one, so I get that. When DD1 had barely turned three and we were in the dx process, I signed her up for a kiddie sports skills class. Different sport each week, they learned the equipment and some basics of how to play. Not competitive at all.

    It was a total disaster. They pretty much had one of the three teachers herding her the entire time. It was held in a ballet studio room at the rec center, and the mirrored walls were a terrible distraction for her. She was unfocused, needed everything repeated multiple times, and had a hard time turning verbal directions into action. She just didn't get it and although she wasn't deliberately disruptive or aggressive, they had a hard time handling how much direction she needed. I could hardly watch b/c it made me want to cry.

    Fast forward almost two years. We just finished up her third season of soccer. DH coaches her on a team of other, typical little girls. She is doing well, enjoys it, and actually kicked a few goals (sometimes into the other team's goal, but whatever!) and is getting more competitive. After three seasons, she's noticeably better at participating. She's out there, and even though she has space-out days, she has good days, too. 

    We were told when she was dx'd that team sports weren't the way to go b/c of all the distractions and activity that would make things hard for her to process and maintain equilibrium. We tried soccer anyway, and it's been pretty good. Having DH as a coach helps a lot, because he gets her and he's used to the extra work it can take to direct her and keep her engaged. We go season by season as to whether it's still an appropriate activity, a positive experience, and something she wants to do.   

    It's been a double-edged sword for DH. He played soccer and it has been something he's always wanted to do, to coach his own kids; he gets to do it, but it also has really opened his eyes to how different DD1 is from other little girls her age.  

    For me, as much as I love that DD1 can participate with typical kids, it's sometimes easier emotionally to do things in an environment designed for kids with SN and where her dx is out in the open and NBD. Then my kid isn't the odd one out and I don't feel like either of us is being judged. 


    DD1, 1/5/2008 ~~~ DD2, 3/17/2010
  • It is hard, but he's also very young.  4 is young to be thriving in team sports.  My typical 3.5 year old was a disaster in soccer.  But, I get what you're saying.  My kindergartener just told me last night that she "doesn't like herself" because "she can't do things other kids can do."  It's hard.  She appears normal, too, until you get her in a situation (sports, playground, etc) where her delays become apparent.  She just started getting made fun of this year by peers.  Ugh.

    Things that have been successful for us are swimming and horseback riding.  The riding in particular is a HUGE confidence builder, and it's something that not a lot of other kids do, so she feels special and talented.  She takes group swimming lessons with kids from her school, but the teacher also teaches SN swim lessons to kids with all sorts of delays and diagnoses, so she's excellent at meeting each child where they are and making them feel fantastic about themselves.  She was a great find!  Maybe you could ask around?  I found her by asking DD's OT for a swim instructor recommendation after DD floundered around in "regular" lessons. 

  • I feel your pain. My son is nearly three but is a very tall kid--he's about the height of a 4.5 year old and people usually think he's somewhere between 4-5. He naturally gravitates towards kids his own size which usually ends up being with kids older than him. He's incredibly social...it's just difficult for him to be understood. He's well under 50% intelligible to an unfamiliar listener. So far most of our experiences have been positive (though kids do question why they can't understand him/kind of ignore him because they don't get it) but I am definitely fearful for the future.

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