The Denver Autism Wheel

People always surprise me…

Posted on: September 15, 2010

I have a tendency to hesitate putting Ian into sports.  He did soccer when he was 5.  Like many boys that age, Ian ran around the field, he just was more engrossed with following his shadow than paying attention to what the other kids were doing.   When he was 6 we didn’t sign up for a sport, we had just gotten the diagnosis a couple months before and we were concentrating on getting him other supports.

When he was 7 we signed him up for some swim lessons (which he LOVES to swim) and then we did baseball in the fall.  He paid a little more attention than when he was 5 but not as much as either of us would have liked.  Asked him again this summer if he wanted to play baseball again and he emphatically said, “Yes!”

Part of me believes he said yes because he gets one on one time with Dad (which is another post need to do soon!) but part of me was of the “you asked, he answered…get it done.”  So we did. 

There was that other part of me questioning. “How are they going to treat him?  Do we tell people he’s on Spectrum?” tend to run through my head.

You never know how people, especially those sometimes-rabid sports parents, will be.  I dread the parent who yells at a coach to take my kid out and put hers in because mine doesn’t play as well.  When Scott told me that most of the boys had been playing all summer and wow, could some of them really play the game, I wondered how Ian would be received.

We had his first game a couple of weeks ago.  They had a mini practice beforehand, mainly playing catch and stopping and throwing balls back to one of the coaches.  Ian did much better about paying attention, and he stopped the ball, but he struggles with throwing the ball.  We haven’t quite pulled together the right set of phrases for him to understand the snap from the elbow to the hand that happens to get that baseball to fly.

Just before game started, one of the coaches comes over to Scott and asks him if Ian’s autistic.  Scott says yes and this coach started talking about how awesome that was and how his nephew is on the Spectrum, and he was going to call his brother and talk to him about it.   As he’s walking out to pitch, Coach stops to tell is wife, who’s sitting right in front of me with another son and a baby boy how Ian’s autistic – that’s all he says. 

I hear this, not knowing about conversation that’s just happened and I’m sitting there with Alexa and my parents doing the …. “huh?”  The wife turns to me and asks, isn’t Ian your son?  Yes.  She explains the situation and how they’re nephew is 4 and what’s going on with him. 

I’m not sure if all the other parents in the stands heard the conversation.  But I have to say that every time Ian came to bat they cheered loud and long for him.  They screamed for him when he stopped the ball but didn’t know where to throw  — “ 2nd base Ian!  Throw to 2nd base!!”  And made sure to welcome us to the team that night. 

I guess I need to be a little less cynical.

There are a lot of awesome people out there; sometimes you just need to take a chance on something new once in a while to learn it.

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