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#1 happysmileylady

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 12:17 PM

We have 2 girls, ages 6 and 8.  DD6 has developmental delays, including very delayed speech, and we are working through the process of evaluations.

 

Last year was the first year we tried any sports with the girls, so they were 5 and 7.  We signed them up for softball...well DD6 did Tball.  First time either had picked up a bat or ball, they both really enjoyed it quite a bit.  DD8 in particular had a blast, and turns out she is actually pretty good at it....went from never having picked up a bat, to getting a hit nearly every game.

 

DD6....not so much.  She was ALL OVER the field when her team wasn't up to bat.  Playing in the dirt, running across the field dance around between the coach pitching and the batter, generally just not into the game at all.  And when waiting in the dugout, she was constantly either laying down in the dirt, or trying to climb the fence.  It was just crazy and was a lot of work for me (and DH, though he couldn't be there often due to work.)  It was even more difficult because I was having to also maintain control over DS4, who was of course 3 at the time.  (just to be clear, we were applying appropriate consequences when behaviors occurred, such as removing her from the game, etc)  DH and I had talked about it and said we weren't going to sign her up this year.

 

But......now it's sign up time.  Both girls have been into "practicing" over the winter.  It's been a mild winter so they both take their bats and gloves out and practice.  DD8 is asking about it, and of course we plan to sign her up.  But DD6 is asking too, she wants to do it.  And I am waffling.  There is only one gymnastics place in our area, and to sign her up just for recreational tumbling would cost more than double what signing up for softball would cost.  She's never seen gymnastics, never asked to do it.   Plus, she's a year more mature now, I suspect she would be more into the actual game and not likely to be as all over the place as she was last year.   I also fear that we sign her up for something different, there will be tears from both girls.  DD8 will want to do gymnastics too, and whine every time we take DD6, and then the reverse will happen at every softball practice drop off. 

 

ETA: the highlight of DD6's season last year was getting her "golden bat" participation trophy.  And she wants another one, is actually asking about another "golden bat"

 

I dunno.  How do those with special needs kids handle these sorts of sports/extra curricular situations, especially with close siblings involved in those things?


Edited by happysmileylady, 14 February 2017 - 12:20 PM.


#2 SKL

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 12:44 PM

Would it be an option to put her in with kids a little younger?  And let the coach know that she might not be uber focused.

 

What you describe sounds like behavior that is somewhat common at 5yo.  If it were me, I'd try giving her another chance and just have minimal expectations.  :)  I would also look into whether there is an alternative league nearby that is designed to include special needs kids.



#3 happysmileylady

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 12:54 PM

Would it be an option to put her in with kids a little younger?  And let the coach know that she might not be uber focused.

 

What you describe sounds like behavior that is somewhat common at 5yo.  If it were me, I'd try giving her another chance and just have minimal expectations.  :)  I would also look into whether there is an alternative league nearby that is designed to include special needs kids.

 

The bolded is very true, and she for sure wasn't the only one on her team that was playing in the dirt and so on.  There were about 12 kids on the team and I kinda think that might be too many kids for that age.  They had the coaches pitch like 6 or 7 pitches, THEN pulled the T out and EVERYONE swings until they hit the ball.  There's a lot of down time and all the kids get bored.  She really wasn't THAT much more high energy/distracted than most of the other kids on the team, particularly the boys.  Just enough that by about the 4th game, DH and I were both hoping for rain each game day lol. 



#4 OhElizabeth

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 09:20 PM

It sounds like she has a social thinking problem and doesn't understand group plan, body in the group, how others feel about her behaviors, etc. Socialthinking - We Thinkers! Volume 1 Social Explorers Deluxe Package This set would be appropriate for that and is easy to teach through. It's something you could do together and then *apply* to her situation there.

 

You might also consider a class setting that has more structure or less free time. She might do well in a preschool gymnastics class, for instance. They would be prepared to handle those behaviors. We kept my ds in preschool classes for swim and gymnastics at that age. Our Y was very flexible and let us keep him in whatever fit.

 

Just realized you asked about gymnastics. Absolutely I would choose gymnastics over softball, mercy. Gymnastics is year-round, very organizing/calming, and good sensory input. It might turn out to be exceptionally good for her. And that preschool level is the perfect time to try out, when there's not a lot of need to be competitive or more expensive. Is that private or at the Y? You could see if your Y has a program. Yes, I would pay double or whatever to get the gymnastics.

 

As far as kids and separate things, people resolve that different ways. Personally, I would *at a minimum* limit them to one thing per kid and say choose. Gymnastics is awesome. If there's the money, it would be cool for both girls to do it. No way would I keep a 6 yo like that in a class over a trophy. She doesn't realize why she might be a better fit in the gymnastics. Even if it's slow-going, it's more rewarding. Right now, her social thinking deficits are making the softball worthless to her.


Edited by OhElizabeth, 14 February 2017 - 09:24 PM.


#5 Crimson Wife

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 10:41 PM

Look for SN sports- AYSO V.I.P. soccer, Special Olympics, and while we haven't done it there is also Little League Challenger division.

 

This winter DD is on mainstream Upward Bound cheerleading team and as it is for K & up I thought it would be ok. But it's really too hard for her. They learn a new cheer every week and even with daily practice incorporated into her ABA therapy, she isn't able to keep up. There is a SN cheer team but she isn't old enough for it yet (it's either age 10 or 12, forget which).



#6 happysmileylady

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 04:08 PM

There is no special needs sports or leagues here.  Also, the Y here doesn't really offer much of anything.  I went looking into the Y for other reasons and was highly disappointed in them.  I DID end up joining a community center about 20 or so minutes away, but they don't offer gymnastics/tumbling for little kids. 

 

DD6's OT actually highly recommended gymnastics for DD6 also.  The biggest struggle is the cost.  I compared actual numbers....the cost for DD8 to do softball from March (first practice) to end of the season at the end of June is $110.  The cost for DD6 to do recreational tumbling for the same amount of time, 4 months, is close to $250.  So...if we put DD8 in softball, and DD6 in tumbling, we are looking at $360.  For both girls to do softball, we are looking at less than $200 because there's also a discount for multiple kids.  

 

Also.....we are moving this summer.  Probably the first week of July.  The area we are moving to is much more suburban than this mostly rural small town we are in now.  There will be more options for BOTH girls.  So whatever we do between now and July is all going to change anyway.  And once we get moved, for fall, the situation changes a bit.  Softball is out of season, plus there are more options to look at and compare.

 

DH and I talked about it more last night.  When I gave him those cost numbers, he just kind of deflated.  We kind of decided to do softball this season for DD6.  BUT....he admitted that I have more patience with DD6 on this stuff.  Which is true, she gets a bit wild and all he feels are eleventy billion eyes on him, judging, and he gets frustrated and angry.  SO......he will primarily be in charge of DD8 and her games and practices, and I will be primarily in charge of DD6's games and practices.  With of course, him taking DS4 any time I am at tball with DD6, and me going to see DD8's games WITH him and DS4 when possible. 

 


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#7 dmmetler

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 10:10 PM

If you have a Youth sports alliance league near you (different names in different parts of the USA. It's Champion Force here, but Young Champions, Champions in Motion, and I think one or two more), they tend to be good with special needs kids, and also sometimes have "Shining Stars" teams for kids who have disabilities such that they can't do an age team (these are usually older kids-normally little ones can be accommodated on their age group or maybe by going down one age group). They do cheer, martial arts, and sometimes other sports as well (I know CA has hip-hop dance teams under that banner). Many cheer gyms havr special needs teams too, so it can be worth asking. Many competitions have special exhibition divisions for these teams. For DD, being on the team gives her a reason to really work on her sensory and motor skills issues, something she didn't get in just a gymnastics class.

For us t-ball and soccer were a nightmare. DD just didn't do well in a team sports setting. But she can handle everyone doing the same thing. She likes cheer better than dance because of the team element, and that they win or lose together.
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#8 Kinsa

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 07:23 PM

My son participated in a sports program specifically for kids with special needs, called Kinetic Kids. He did swimming and baseball. It was nice because each participants had an assigned "buddy" (aide). Is there a similar program in your area? ETA: Nevermind. I saw your response that there's nothing in your area. I hope after you move you can find something that works for your family!

Edited by Kinsa, 26 February 2017 - 07:25 PM.


#9 Pegs

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 06:55 PM

Another vote here for gymnastics, if you can wrangle it. My DS started at 6.5ish, and is thriving there. But there is no way he would manage team sports, or get anything out of that.
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