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Need help finding activities ideas for dd13 (long)

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DD13 is mildly autistic, low IQ, 5'10" and morbidly obese.  She is on a medication that causes her to want to eat constantly and thus the weight gain. We have tried taking her off the meds, she gets violent without them. Her psychiatrist doesn't want to take her off them because we have already tried so many.  I cook from scratch and half her plate is always vegetables.  But, even a lot of healthy foods can cause problems. My other family members are all slim, so I really don't think the types of food are a problem, so I don't want this thread to go that direction. I am teaching her to cook, but she is only willing sometimes to help.

She is really struggling with friends right now. She doesn't have any.  She used to play with some of the neighborhood kids, but they have always been a bit mean to her.  She just forgives them and keeps hanging out with them, so she can have some friends.  She has always been teased about her height and weight. She is over a foot taller than most of the neighborhood kids. Now that they are all reaching pre-teen (they are a bit younger than her) they don't really play outside anymore, and if she asks them to hangout, they say no.  With her autism, she doesn't really relate the same, and doesn't go to the same schools. She doesn't really fit in. She will watch out the window and see them going back and forth between houses, even though they just told her (via text) that they can't hang out. 

She goes to a therapeutic day school for kids who have violent offences in school. There are 6 kids in her class and they aren't really kids that she wants to hang out with.  None live near us anyways, but the only one that she may want to see outside of school, is 45 minutes away (one-way).  So that isn't an option either. She has had over 500 sessions of Behavior Therapy and Occupational Therapy.  She gets extensive support and training at her school in social skills. 

She used to play rec volleyball in the winter, but injured her knee in the fall and can't play this winter. She hasn't hung out with any kids from them team anyways. She didn't really make buddies with any.  They were nice during practice, but she wasn't invited to b-day parties and such. Same with swimming.  Most of the kids on rec teams that are friends, go to the same school and have some connections. Mix in the social inequalities, add in her size, and it absolutely sets her apart.   

She has has no hobbies, or interests. She watches kid movies on Netflix. She used to do puzzles but that isn't her thing anymore. She doesn't do crafts, write (dysgraphia), read (dyslexic), play with toys( never played-even as a little kid), or have any interest in anything.  She will watch kids fluffy TV programming.  I think this is part of why she doesn't fit in with the neighbor kids....nothing to talk about.  She sometimes goes to youth group at church, but only if they are doing a special activity, not just regular group. (Her brother is the youth pastor, so she always knows the planned activity for the  night).  She has slow processing speed, so she doesn't play video games. She is grounded from the internet for making some really bad choices around that. 

I'm looking for sports for her to do (since she likes sports). I emailed a bowling team to see if she can join the next session. But I think that is in the fall. She can't run (knee injury) so track and softball are out.  She likes to swim, but not do laps so swim team is out. We can't have pets (ds allergies/hives despite meds), so no 4H type training classes. I may look into  buying a poodle but they are $1000 around here.  We had a poodle here for a bit last year and DS did ok with him, so we feel the breed is safe for his allergies. But again...$1000 and the typical 1st year expenses. I check online periodically for rescues but haven't lucked into anything yet. 

I am running out of ideas. I need to get her up and moving. I need her to want to do something other than watch TV. I work 6 days a week (on my feet for 8 full hours each day), so I am not one to say "lets go for a walk" but once the weather clears a bit, When I tried in the fall, she always told me no, but I will try again. I feel like if I get her a dog, she may go with it on walks. Our neighborhood is small and other people let their aggressive dogs roam free, so isn't really safe. I would have to drive them somewhere else to go on a walk. 

ETA: I called the local hospital to see if they have any weight management classes/programs for teens. I thought maybe I could find others for her to connect with and support. I was hoping to maybe find group teen activities that support healthy activities. Thinking hiking, swimming for fun, snow shoeing etc. They do have weight loss program she qualifies for, but the teens enrolled are getting bariatric surgery.  The teen exercise classes I can find, are all either cross-fit style or sports training. Most adult classes don't start till 16 here.

Ughh. I feel like I am out of ideas. I need to get her up and going.  Do you see anything I am missing? We live in the PNW, so outside activities are really on feasible for 6 months of the year (and part of that will still be drizzly). 

Edited by Tap

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Have you considered martial arts. My experience with martial arts, first as someone who's socially awkward relatives participated, then as someone who was a student, then as the wife of the head instructor, and finally as a parent with children in a program, it has some of the most accepting students, parents, and instructors. It of course depends on the school but I know so many amazing people from many different schools in the area. There is a lot of acceptance in the community regarding special needs and overall social differences. 

Because martial arts focuses on individual progress it can be great for people who need to go at a slower pace. Finding the right school is key but I've seen many autistic children and adults shine in that environment.

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Please forgive my previous post - I just saw that you are dealing with animal allergies, no 4-H.

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Our YMCA allows kids to attend adult group ex classes without an adult at 11. Is that an option?

Would she enjoy putting on some music and dancing? Yoga videos on YouTube?

Do you have a local rowing club? Rowing has been a great fit for my non-athletic dd (full disclosure: she doesn't have any health/weight issues, although she does have social anxiety and is a bit immature socially). It's a low-impact but full-body workout. Team atmosphere so there are opportunities to socialize but much of it is very individualized. DD's team competes but it's optional. They are on the water much of the year (don't know if she'd be comfortable with that) but they also row indoors, especially in the winter.

Is she open to brainstorming any ideas for herself? I know that I wasn't at that age (I was quite overweight and in poor shape so I hated everything). I'm sure you know that if you can help her find something she enjoys it will be much easier. Hugs -- I admire how hard you're working to help her!

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Would Special Olympic type groups be a good fit for her?  Maybe that community would be more accepting of her differences?  Please forgive me if this is a bad suggestion.

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I realize you don't and won't have a pet, but I think some 4H programs allow kids to use animals that are owned by others.

Horse riding?

I would also try martial arts.  They can accommodate many special needs, and you can probably attend classes with her if you want.

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Horseback riding is a great activity for fitness and for socializing. Can you try some private lessons for a couple months, then group lessons, maybe with some stable management? This would be for when her knee heals. How long is that expected to take?

Do you really have to drive her to take the dog out? I would not go that route if so. 

How about a gentle yoga-type video you could watch and do together?

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1 hour ago, Tap said:

DD13 is mildly autistic, low IQ, 5'10" and morbidly obese.  She is on a medication that causes her to want to eat constantly and thus the weight gain. We have tried taking her off the meds, she gets violent without them. Her psychiatrist doesn't want to take her off them because we have already tried so many.  I cook from scratch and half her plate is always vegetables.  But, even a lot of healthy foods can cause problems. My other family members are all slim, so I really don't think the types of food are a problem, so I don't want this thread to go that direction. I am teaching her to cook, but she is only willing sometimes to help.

She is really struggling with friends right now. She doesn't have any.  She used to play with some of the neighborhood kids, but they have always been a bit mean to her.  She just forgives them and keeps hanging out with them, so she can have some friends.  She has always been teased about her height and weight. She is over a foot taller than most of the neighborhood kids. Now that they are all reaching pre-teen (they are a bit younger than her) they don't really play outside anymore, and if she asks them to hangout, they say no.  With her autism, she doesn't really relate the same, and doesn't go to the same schools. She doesn't really fit in. She will watch out the window and see them going back and forth between houses, even though they just told her (via text) that they can't hang out. 

She goes to a therapeutic day school for kids who have violent offences in school. There are 6 kids in her class and they aren't really kids that she wants to hang out with.  None live near us anyways, but the only one that she may want to see outside of school, is 45 minutes away (one-way).  So that isn't an option either. She has had over 500 sessions of Behavior Therapy and Occupational Therapy.  She gets extensive support and training at her school in social skills. 

She used to play rec volleyball in the winter, but injured her knee in the fall and can't play this winter. She hasn't hung out with any kids from them team anyways. She didn't really make buddies with any.  They were nice during practice, but she wasn't invited to b-day parties and such. Same with swimming.  Most of the kids on rec teams that are friends, go to the same school and have some connections. Mix in the social inequalities, add in her size, and it absolutely sets her apart.   

She has has no hobbies, or interests. She watches kid movies on Netflix. She used to do puzzles but that isn't her thing anymore. She doesn't do crafts, write (dysgraphia), read (dyslexic), play with toys( never played-even as a little kid), or have any interest in anything.  She will watch kids fluffy TV programming.  I think this is part of why she doesn't fit in with the neighbor kids....nothing to talk about.  She sometimes goes to youth group at church, but only if they are doing a special activity, not just regular group. (Her brother is the youth pastor, so she always knows the planned activity for the  night).  She has slow processing speed, so she doesn't play video games. She is grounded from the internet for making some really bad choices around that. 

I'm looking for sports for her to do. I emailed a bowling team to see if she can join the next session. But I think that is in the fall. She can't run (knee injury) so track and softball are out.  She likes to swim, but not do laps so swim team is out. We don't have pets (allergies/hives despite meds), so no 4H type training classes. I may look into  buying a poodle but they are $1000 around here.  We had a poodle her for a bit and DS did ok with him, so we feel the breed is safe for his allergies.

I am running out of ideas. I need to get her up and moving. I need her to want to do something other than watch TV. I work 6 days a week (on my feet for 8 full hours each day), so I am not one to say "lets go for a walk" but once the weather clears a bit, When I tried in the fall, she always told me no, but I will try again. I feel like if I get her a dog, she may go with it on walks. Our neighborhood is small and other people let their aggressive dogs roam free, so isn't really safe. I would have to drive them somewhere else to go on a walk. 

ETA: I called the local hospital to see if they have any weight management classes/programs for teens. I thought maybe I could find others to connect with and support. Maybe find group teen activities that support healthy activities.  They do have weight loss program she qualifies for, but the teens are getting bariatric surgery.  The teen exercise classes I can find, are all either cross-fit style or sports training. Most adult classes don't start till 16.

Ughh. I feel like I am out of ideas. I need to get her up and going.  Do you see anything I am missing? We live in the PNW, so outside activities are really on feasible for 6 months of the year (and part of that will still be drizzly). 

I’m sorry she’s having a hard time.  One thing- 4H is not just animals.  My kids have done aerospace, robotics, finance/business, cooking, art, sewing, photography and more.  We did 4H for 5 years and only one kids did an animal club in addition to all the others.  4h was awesome for them.

Another thought is Civil Air Patrol.  Is there a squadron near you.  For cadets, there are no height/weight requirements.  It should focus on encouragement and respect and would give her achievements to work towards. One of mine became very interested in radio and communications.  Another in Emergency Services.  And another in cyber security.  Many squadrons have a cyber patriot team.

just some ideas from this end.  🙂

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10 minutes ago, Chris in VA said:

Horseback riding is a great activity for fitness and for socializing. Can you try some private lessons for a couple months, then group lessons, maybe with some stable management? This would be for when her knee heals. How long is that expected to take?

Getting involved with horses would be great, but many stables have weight limits for riding their horses - often around 200 pounds - so that could be an issue if OP's dd weighs more than that. Some stables do have horses that can handle heavier riders, so it would be worth it to call around if OP thinks her dd would be interested.

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Piggybacking on those who already suggested martial arts. As an instructor in multiple martial arts for the past decade, I can definitely attest to the benefits for children who have some issues going on. We work with these children/young adults frequently in our schools. You may have to try several; not all instructors/schools are equally prepared to deal with children who have special needs. It would be worth the search. 

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Another thought, if you can find a willing coach: track and field throwing. All the kids are going to be bigger and heavier--they aren't the skinny stick people that the distance runners are. 

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Are there any indoor water aerobics classes she could take? It might not be good for finding same-age peers, but it’s in the water and would be physical activity. Also easy on the injured knee, I think.

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A lot of cheer teams have special needs teams, and they adapt to the people they have (so, she would not be asked to tumble if her knees cannot handle it). I know the one at my DD's former gym is mostly kids/young adults  with autism and developmental delays, and has quite a few athletes with weight struggles. And there is a big focus in the sport with being part of the team-not just the squad, but the gym as a whole, which might help her feel more connected, and with a wide age range in the gym, she might have something in common with someone there, even if it is a younger child. 

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Mini trampolines are often used for kids with autism. You would want to do your homework to find one compatible and safe for someone her size. Many of these have handles. 

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Would she do something like an elliptical machine (easier on the knees/back) while watching tv? I realize it doesn't solve the social issue sorry... 

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Tap, what's the more important goal - that she get moving more or that she get more time with peers?

I agree that it sounds like you've tried a lot. I also think martial arts might be a good thing to try. Lots of studios all over, lots of team spirit kind of mentality. 

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You sound like an amazing mom!  You said she enjoys swimming, but no lap swim.  How about water exercise classes?

I know you're looking for a physical activity, but would she be interested in any kind of community theater or community choir?  Those seem to be activities that people of many different backgrounds, ages, abilities, etc., can be involved in.  I know kids that didn't know they had a passion for theater, but ended up loving it.  Even just being a background person in a crowd scene. 

Would she be interested in a gym membership, if you could first have her meet with a trainer who could help her develop an exercise routine that she might think is fun?  (I'd concentrate on it being fun rather than a serious fitness program.)

Would she be able to do any volunteer work?  Playing cards at a nursing home with residents there?  Volunteering at a children's hospital?  

How about a painting class?

Does she enjoy biking?  Our city has a bike group that meets once/week or so in the summer for people with disabilities (which could be very minor, or more major).  They also provide bike rentals if a special type of bike is easier for a person (like a 3-wheeled recumbent bike, for example).  A local rehab center runs it.

And yes, 4H does include lots of other activities, not just animals, although it does take quite a bit of parent involvement.

Would she enjoy leisurely hikes?  A local REI (or sports and rec store) might know of groups that might interest her.  

Gardening?

I'll keep thinking.

 

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Have you tried Girl Scouts?  You might need to get in touch with your council directly and see if they have a special needs troop available, or just if there are some leaders that are extra great with special needs kids

Also, don't discount just going swimming.  You said she likes to swim, if your goal is to get her away from the tv, get her moving and get some exposure to some other kids, there's no reason not to just get up and go to open swim at the local indoor pool.  She doesn't really need a swim team or to swim laps to just go swim.  If you really want something more organized, what about just signing up for swim lessons.  

You said she can't run because of the knee injury, but she can walk right?  What about looking into doing some charity walks?  A lot of marathons and half marathons have smaller races as well, like 5k, 1k, etc.  You could start small and work your way up, plus lots of races have incentives, like a breakfast afterwards, or a ticket into whatever location the race is at.  And of course, medals and t-shirts.

 

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5 minutes ago, hippiemamato3 said:

4H is actually not all animals. There are many that focus on other activities. I would look into that.

I did 4H for a year or two when I was a kid, I remember doing cooking stuff.  In my case it was cookies, but I am sure they have plenty of healthy cooking options now too, especially since the OP said she was trying to teach her how cook anyway.  

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I will add my voice to those suggesting martial arts. My kids are all involved and my oldest dd is an instructor; it is a sport with room for different body types, and a good material arts school will meet each child where they are at. There are several students with ASD at our studio; I know that during the last belt test session my dd was assigned to one of them specifically to help him get through the test successfully. There is lots of positive reinforcement as kids move through the ranks and acquire new skills. If she takes to it competition might even be something she would enjoy--people often think that Martial arts competitions are all about sparring but my kids have yet to try that--there are forms competitions--traditional and creative, with or without weapons. There are board breaking competitions as well--size and strength can be an advantage in those!

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3 hours ago, alisoncooks said:

Bike riding? (I know it can be hard to find good bikes for larger people...)

 

And can still be tough on knees... but might could work      Beware aggressive dogs though

Synchronized swimming?

water polo?

just swimming for fun? 

ice skating? Starting with a class?  It too can be tough on knees if jumping is involved.  But just skating is more of a gentle slide than walking is. (Maybe you, @Tap would like it too to relax.)   My son’s figure skating club / group lessons had a larger girl with autism etc type issues

Agree that her body type as described may fit with discus, shot put etc... and spring track season is coming soon...  but is she violent where that would be dangerous? 

classes at YMCA?  

Weightlifting?  

Girls’ Wrestling? 

Aikido? 

Your local or nearest city’s “parks and recreation” programs especially ones intended for people with special needs?  

volunteering of various types?  At same church where your son is a minister? 

Social only: A kids’ Toastmasters group if there is one?  (Some 4H have things like public speaking, no fur involved.) 

 

Fitness only: Based on another thread here on WTM I got a Vibration Plate and am loving it.  That could help fitness—not social though.  

 

 

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5 hours ago, Tap said:

DD13 is mildly autistic, low IQ, 5'10" and morbidly obese.  She is on a medication that causes her to want to eat constantly and thus the weight gain. We have tried taking her off the meds, she gets violent without them. Her psychiatrist doesn't want to take her off them because we have already tried so many.  I cook from scratch and half her plate is always vegetables.  But, even a lot of healthy foods can cause problems. My other family members are all slim, so I really don't think the types of food are a problem, so I don't want this thread to go that direction. I am teaching her to cook, but she is only willing sometimes to help.

She is really struggling with friends right now. She doesn't have any.  She used to play with some of the neighborhood kids, but they have always been a bit mean to her.  She just forgives them and keeps hanging out with them, so she can have some friends.  She has always been teased about her height and weight. She is over a foot taller than most of the neighborhood kids. Now that they are all reaching pre-teen (they are a bit younger than her) they don't really play outside anymore, and if she asks them to hangout, they say no.  With her autism, she doesn't really relate the same, and doesn't go to the same schools. She doesn't really fit in. She will watch out the window and see them going back and forth between houses, even though they just told her (via text) that they can't hang out. 

She goes to a therapeutic day school for kids who have violent offences in school. There are 6 kids in her class and they aren't really kids that she wants to hang out with.  None live near us anyways, but the only one that she may want to see outside of school, is 45 minutes away (one-way).  So that isn't an option either. She has had over 500 sessions of Behavior Therapy and Occupational Therapy.  She gets extensive support and training at her school in social skills. 

She used to play rec volleyball in the winter, but injured her knee in the fall and can't play this winter. She hasn't hung out with any kids from them team anyways. She didn't really make buddies with any.  They were nice during practice, but she wasn't invited to b-day parties and such. Same with swimming.  Most of the kids on rec teams that are friends, go to the same school and have some connections. Mix in the social inequalities, add in her size, and it absolutely sets her apart.   

She has has no hobbies, or interests. She watches kid movies on Netflix. She used to do puzzles but that isn't her thing anymore. She doesn't do crafts, write (dysgraphia), read (dyslexic), play with toys( never played-even as a little kid), or have any interest in anything.  She will watch kids fluffy TV programming.  I think this is part of why she doesn't fit in with the neighbor kids....nothing to talk about.  She sometimes goes to youth group at church, but only if they are doing a special activity, not just regular group. (Her brother is the youth pastor, so she always knows the planned activity for the  night).  She has slow processing speed, so she doesn't play video games. She is grounded from the internet for making some really bad choices around that. 

I'm looking for sports for her to do. I emailed a bowling team to see if she can join the next session. But I think that is in the fall. She can't run (knee injury) so track and softball are out.  She likes to swim, but not do laps so swim team is out. We don't have pets (allergies/hives despite meds), so no 4H type training classes. I may look into  buying a poodle but they are $1000 around here.  We had a poodle her for a bit and DS did ok with him, so we feel the breed is safe for his allergies.

I am running out of ideas. I need to get her up and moving. I need her to want to do something other than watch TV. I work 6 days a week (on my feet for 8 full hours each day), so I am not one to say "lets go for a walk" but once the weather clears a bit, When I tried in the fall, she always told me no, but I will try again. I feel like if I get her a dog, she may go with it on walks. Our neighborhood is small and other people let their aggressive dogs roam free, so isn't really safe. I would have to drive them somewhere else to go on a walk. 

ETA: I called the local hospital to see if they have any weight management classes/programs for teens. I thought maybe I could find others to connect with and support. Maybe find group teen activities that support healthy activities.  They do have weight loss program she qualifies for, but the teens are getting bariatric surgery.  The teen exercise classes I can find, are all either cross-fit style or sports training. Most adult classes don't start till 16.

Ughh. I feel like I am out of ideas. I need to get her up and going.  Do you see anything I am missing? We live in the PNW, so outside activities are really on feasible for 6 months of the year (and part of that will still be drizzly). 

I'll add my voice to those saying 4-H is not just animals. 

If she likes to swim, can you just take her swimming more? It doesn't have to be laps or swim team. It's time away from the tv, something different, and surely she is moving more than she would on the couch. 

Does she enjoy animals herself, above and beyond the benefits walking them might have? In our area, you can 'check out' dogs from the shelter to play with, take for a walk, or bring home for the day or weekend. If she's not a pretty avid animal person, I wouldn't get a dog unless you and other family members want one. 

5 hours ago, Anne said:

Would Special Olympic type groups be a good fit for her?  Maybe that community would be more accepting of her differences?  Please forgive me if this is a bad suggestion.

This might be a great idea for both parts of the puzzle: more movement and more socialization! I would imagine they are much more patient with reluctant and not-so-great athletes than other organizations, and probably really good at facilitating friendship or at least positive social interactions with peers. 

I also like Pen's idea of checking with parks and rec. Ours has lots for special needs teens: summer and holiday camps through age 18, dances and proms, social nights with things like games and crafts and such. 

The gap between her and more typical kids is likely just going to get wider as she goes through her teens, so my focus would be on finding special programs. If she wants to do a rec sport or other EC in addition, great, but it's not likely going to be a place where she finds friends to hang out with. Not because the other kids are necessarily mean or unwelcoming, just because they aren't going to have a lot in common. 

At this point, I'd worry less about exercise and athletic activities, simply because any activity out of the house is an improvement over sitting on the couch and will naturally lead to at least some additional movement. Special Olympics might be ideal because it addresses both, but, if I had to choose between rec ball and a fun special needs program, I think I'd go for the program. 

Regarding the one kid she might hang out with if they weren't so far away: is there any way they can hang out after school and get picked up later? Is going to a local coffee shop or library something they would be able to do on their own? Would the school or social services possibly even provide support for that, someone to go with them the first few times? 

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6 hours ago, hjffkj said:

Have you considered martial arts. My experience with martial arts, first as someone who's socially awkward relatives participated, then as someone who was a student, then as the wife of the head instructor, and finally as a parent with children in a program, it has some of the most accepting students, parents, and instructors. It of course depends on the school but I know so many amazing people from many different schools in the area. There is a lot of acceptance in the community regarding special needs and overall social differences. 

Because martial arts focuses on individual progress it can be great for people who need to go at a slower pace. Finding the right school is key but I've seen many autistic children and adults shine in that environment.

 

Agreeing with this. 

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Special Olympics has been wonderful for my kids.  Between the 3 of them they have done bowling, swimming, weight lifting, track and field, gymnastics, snowboarding, downhill skiing, cross country skiing, and figure skating.

As someone else mentioned, the gap will just widen between her and same age peers.  I homeschooled mine K-6 grade but then put them in school in 7th as they needed to be around same level Peers.  That worked out well.

 

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They just found a few months in some individuals with some autism types have a gene that causes obesity so I believe you it probably isn’t the food. 
 

4H is a great way for teens.  Ours has a ton of clubs without animals including a group for disabilities.  Martial arts ( tai chi is excellent for joint issues). 

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8 hours ago, hjffkj said:

Have you considered martial arts. My experience with martial arts, first as someone who's socially awkward relatives participated, then as someone who was a student, then as the wife of the head instructor, and finally as a parent with children in a program, it has some of the most accepting students, parents, and instructors. It of course depends on the school but I know so many amazing people from many different schools in the area. There is a lot of acceptance in the community regarding special needs and overall social differences. 

Because martial arts focuses on individual progress it can be great for people who need to go at a slower pace. Finding the right school is key but I've seen many autistic children and adults shine in that environment.

Love this idea, but even her teachers agree.  With her tendency for violence against people, we don't want to increase her understanding of hitting, throwing and blocking moves.  (my son was in MA for several years)

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7 hours ago, PeachyDoodle said:

Our YMCA allows kids to attend adult group ex classes without an adult at 11. Is that an option?

Would she enjoy putting on some music and dancing? Yoga videos on YouTube?

Do you have a local rowing club? Rowing has been a great fit for my non-athletic dd (full disclosure: she doesn't have any health/weight issues, although she does have social anxiety and is a bit immature socially). It's a low-impact but full-body workout. Team atmosphere so there are opportunities to socialize but much of it is very individualized. DD's team competes but it's optional. They are on the water much of the year (don't know if she'd be comfortable with that) but they also row indoors, especially in the winter.

Is she open to brainstorming any ideas for herself? I know that I wasn't at that age (I was quite overweight and in poor shape so I hated everything). I'm sure you know that if you can help her find something she enjoys it will be much easier. Hugs -- I admire how hard you're working to help her!

My older kids did rowing and there is a great club in the area. I don't think she would do well with the skiff.   She really has a hard time getting in and out of a bath, and it isn't swaying. 😞 Good idea, but alas...I don't think it will work. 

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7 hours ago, Anne said:

Would Special Olympic type groups be a good fit for her?  Maybe that community would be more accepting of her differences?  Please forgive me if this is a bad suggestion.

I think this is where we may end up. I do agree that they are more accepting. I have looked into it before and went a different direction, but I think we are going to try this route. She can decide if she wants to participate or not, but it may at least be a try. If nothing else...maybe she can help out! He IQ is low enough, that I think she would qualify.  If you just met her, you would likely think she is a normal 13 yo. Once you spend time with her, her differences start to appear. That is why she has always been able to fit in with same age, rec sports. I think those differences are getting more obvious as she ages though. 

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34 minutes ago, Tap said:

Love this idea, but even her teachers agree.  With her tendency for violence against people, we don't want to increase her understanding of hitting, throwing and blocking moves.  (my son was in MA for several years)

If she's aggressive against peers, Special Olympics will be very challenging for her. I tried with GW and it was a flop because I had to be hyper aware of any escalation. It worked fine for Geezle but he's not aggressive.

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22 minutes ago, chiguirre said:

If she's aggressive against peers, Special Olympics will be very challenging for her. I tried with GW and it was a flop because I had to be hyper aware of any escalation. It worked fine for Geezle but he's not aggressive.

She has only had issues at home and school. We have trained her to leave environments if she gets overly frustrated. School and home are the two places you can't really leave. She hasn't been violent in other situations. She would just ask to sit out or go to the locker room. 

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2 minutes ago, Tap said:

She has only had issues at home and school. We have trained her to leave environments if she gets overly frustrated. School and home are the two places you can't really leave. She hasn't been violent in other situations. She would just ask to sit out or go to the locker room. 

 

That's a wonderful skill that you've taught her!  

I think Special Olympics is a great idea.  I teach students with disabilities, and so many of them get a lot of benefit from Special Olympics.  I also wonder about Boy Scouts.  Now that it's co-ed several of my female students have discovered that it's a great fit.  Girl Scouts too, although in my experience boy scouts has more physical activity, although that might be our local troops.

Would she like a dance class, or something like a Zumba class?

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I 2nd cheer our cheer gym is incredibly inclusive and seems to have a squad for everyone no matter age, ability or differences etc.  

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Are you in Seattle or very close? Aspiring Youth social groups or Outdoors for All could be possibilities.  I would definitely look into Special Olympics.

I agree that part of the issue is likely a lack of common interests.  Some things that might help - is she into Tik Toks and memes? I know memes are nonliteral and therefore hard, but Tik Toks are super popular.  You can restrict inappropriate Tik Tok content at some level in the "digital well being" setting.

Try popular shows like The Voice, the great British bake off or other game shows, or local televised sports so she has something to chat about with other people that doesn't require following a complicated plot.

 

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4 minutes ago, rebcoola said:

I 2nd cheer our cheer gym is incredibly inclusive and seems to have a squad for everyone no matter age, ability or differences etc.  

I checked the gyms in our immediate area. They are all competitive and not adaptive. Her sister was a cheerleader for 5 years. I think she would like it but her physical issues would limit much of what a cheerleader does (even just basic floor/arm movements). I will keep this in mind though, I think she would enjoy and adaptive program. 

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9 hours ago, SKL said:

I realize you don't and won't have a pet, but I think some 4H programs allow kids to use animals that are owned by others.

Horse riding?

I would also try martial arts.  They can accommodate many special needs, and you can probably attend classes with her if you want.

Good idea, but I don't know of any pets nearby that we can borrow. 

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21 minutes ago, NorthwestMom said:

Are you in Seattle or very close? Aspiring Youth social groups or Outdoors for All could be possibilities.  I would definitely look into Special Olympics.

I agree that part of the issue is likely a lack of common interests.  Some things that might help - is she into Tik Toks and memes? I know memes are nonliteral and therefore hard, but Tik Toks are super popular.  You can restrict inappropriate Tik Tok content at some level in the "digital well being" setting.

Try popular shows like The Voice, the great British bake off or other game shows, or local televised sports so she has something to chat about with other people that doesn't require following a complicated plot.

 

We are in the Southern part of the state. She is completely off the internet right now. She was just getting ready to get some seriously limited internet back, but she figured out a way to go online on the Wii U (used another person's character) and I didn't realize the internet wasn't locked down on on that persons Mii.  She violated the exact same rule as before so she is off the internet probably till summer. I only caught it because I got an email alerting me. I can't trust her with even minimal, locked down internet right now. 

Edited by Tap

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I would get a dog and set her to work at training and agility.  We had a standard poodle.  They are great at agility, so fun to train because they are so smart, and such good, loving companions.  The dog would get her moving and engaged with a loyal friend.

I didn't have time to read all the replies to see if someone suggested it, but it was my first thought reading your post.

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2 hours ago, itsheresomewhere said:

They just found a few months in some individuals with some autism types have a gene that causes obesity so I believe you it probably isn’t the food. 
 

4H is a great way for teens.  Ours has a ton of clubs without animals including a group for disabilities.  Martial arts ( tai chi is excellent for joint issues). 

I will probably look into 4H. I think I know someone involved in some programs there. When we home schooled, I heard a lot of good things, but even more bad stories with leaders/groups, but I guess you get that anywhere you go.  We stayed away from it with out older kids, but I may not be able to be that fussy with her.  It looks like they start in the fall but I can't find any information about what programs are in our area. Maybe because of the time of year? 

Edited by Tap

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I've read, but I may have missed suggestions. Has anyone brought up yoga classes? Or, would she be okay with a sewing machine? I know I started quilting at 11, but there is a lot of cutting involved. I know a couple of kids that were doing sewing at the same time, their moms actually cut all of the fabric for them to sew together. So that's a lot of extra work for the parent if you go that way; maybe craft stores have kits now, but idk if this is too crafty for her tastes. Other idea would be gardening (could be hard on her knee though), which can tie into 4H in some areas. Or, maybe see if any animal shelters do volunteer opportunities for kids, I know a friend in middle school did that and mostly played with the younger friendly dogs, but her mom had some connection to the shelter, idk exactly what.

 

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33 minutes ago, Margaret in CO said:

4-H can be started into the spring. There is usually a cut-off date coming up fairly soon, so the kids can work on their projects for fair. That varies by county and state. Here's a list of 4-H projects in OR: http://oregon.4h.oregonstate.edu/projects/home  It's not all cows and cakes any more!

Here is our area's page.  I have clicked around for 5 minutes and can't find a list with links similar to what this site offers. In the area for new families, it looks like you can sign up to register on line, and after that maybe you can see what is available. But it says you have to contact the county extension service first before you can register.  There was another spot where it said you had to 'visit' the extension office to get information.  Maybe I have to go there to get information?   They close at 5 pm 2 nights a week, but I would have to leave work early to get there by that time. 

Edited by Tap

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2 hours ago, Tap said:

Love this idea, but even her teachers agree.  With her tendency for violence against people, we don't want to increase her understanding of hitting, throwing and blocking moves.  (my son was in MA for several years)

 

I can understand that. Tai chi is an internal form of ma that isn't likely to register as an aggressive outlet that will translate to her aggression towards other. But it is still a great workout and gets you in a supportive community with accepting individuals. 

Other ideas are workout classes held at a martial arts school but that aren't focused on learning ma techniques. So, something like a cardio kickboxing class(not to be confused with kickboxing) more like tai bo classes.

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42 minutes ago, Moonhawk said:

I've read, but I may have missed suggestions. Has anyone brought up yoga classes? Or, would she be okay with a sewing machine? I know I started quilting at 11, but there is a lot of cutting involved. I know a couple of kids that were doing sewing at the same time, their moms actually cut all of the fabric for them to sew together. So that's a lot of extra work for the parent if you go that way; maybe craft stores have kits now, but idk if this is too crafty for her tastes. Other idea would be gardening (could be hard on her knee though), which can tie into 4H in some areas. Or, maybe see if any animal shelters do volunteer opportunities for kids, I know a friend in middle school did that and mostly played with the younger friendly dogs, but her mom had some connection to the shelter, idk exactly what.

 

Good ideas...but ...She gets bored quick, so yoga didn't work (tried when she was a bit younger). She doesn't like crafts (will do them for about 20 minutes and then not go back to them. The shelter closes before I get off, so unfortunately there isn't a chance there.  I have looked into fostering for various service dog organizations, but we are gone parts of the day, so we can't raise a young puppy.  We would need it to be able to be by itself for about 3-4 hours  each day.  Ds is afraid of dogs (he was attacked twice in his life) so we can't be a rehome/foster for any kind of an aggressive rescue. 

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29 minutes ago, Tap said:

Here is our area's page.  I have clicked around for 5 minutes and can't find a list with links similar to what this site offers. In the area for new families, it looks like you can sign up to register on line, and after that maybe you can see what is available. But it says you have to contact the county extension service first before you can register.  There was another spot where it said you had to 'visit' the extension office to get information.  Maybe I have to go there to get information?   They close at 5 pm 2 nights a week, but I would have to leave work early to get there by that time. 

 

https://extension.wsu.edu/clark/4hyouthfamilies/clubs/

it mentions there being 80 clubs including for baking, sewing, woodwork 

call them on phone during a break and say you can’t leave work to go in in person

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And trying Special Olympics sounds great!  Both physical exercise and maybe social time, both!!!

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https://extension.wsu.edu/4h/projects/all-projects/  All projects for your state. Most states also have "self-determined". The child does the project, setting goals, charting progress, presents, interviews, etc. In CO, self-determined cannot go to State as there is no one to compete against. When my dd did it, Welding was self-determined, as was the Candy Making that another dd did. Interestingly enough to this discussion the welding dd turns in her application tomorrow to be the youth specialist in our county!

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