Michael recently started in a great extra curricular adapted tennis program in our city called “Proset Autism”: http://prosetautism.ca/tennis. It is a wonderful tennis program and his father and I have seen him grow leaps and bounds since doing it! His coordination, excitement in trying new things, and willingness to experiment with different sports has been incredible to see! It had its challenges for him at the beginning of the program due to him having to focus in a group without being one on one. But just as he enjoyed participating in an adapted soccer program that was similarly constructed, he is now blossoming in this program. I have only seen him play once as this is his father/son activity, but wanted to come and see him play and we were headed out for a family visit afterwards.
His father has been telling me that though he is getting better and the teacher and head of the program will even take time out to help him focus each time, I suggested that we give him his headphones. Maybe blocking out the exterior noises and sensory input would help more with his concentration level when teacher was addressing the other eight boys in the class. I can’t believe it took me until almost the end of the first session to realize this, but as you all know, life is busy with a special needs child! 🙂
Watching him play, and the pride in his face when he looked back and saw us so proud of him made me want to shout it to the rooftops that this is what our exceptional children need. They need more programs like the ones our community is blessed with. They need teachers and coordinators and volunteers who take the time to meet them on their own ground, respect their strengths and view them in terms of those strengths. This program is so well coordinated and effortlessly teaches exceptional children confidence, balance, coordination and being part of a group.
Exceptional Parents, how many of you are happy when you see your children living their full potential? How many of you are fortunate to have great extra curricular activities that focus on bringing out the best in your exceptional children? I would strongly encourage you to check out activities that challenge your kids at their level, and be willing to try anything once. I was nervous at first, as tennis is quite an intense game, but Michael’s interest combined with the wonderful approach the program takes, makes me realize that we must believe in our kids and do all we can to encourage them to stretch themselves. After all, we as parents need to do the same as well to grow, and we always feel better when we do, right? Until next time .