Sunday, October 17, 2010

31 for 21: Soccer Baby!!!

So the most amazing thing happened yesterday…Jack decided that he was actually going to PLAY soccer during his game! From day one, he put it in his head that he would NOT cross the white line onto the field and attempt to play with his team…he wasn’t ready…I get it. As I wrote about a few days ago, we have been working hard to use our great behavioral strategies to at least get him on the field…to at least expose him to a team sport with typical peer interactions…to at least teach him to finish something he we started…it’s been working. Slowly but surely, he has been jumping out on the field, kicking the ball a little, switching teams occasionally, and doing some major “guarding” of our goal (all at about 5-10 seconds at a time J). Baby steps…I’m SOOO OK with that…we are progressing.

Yesterday, he made a huge leap! All of the sudden a switch went on, and he played. This child ran his little heart out, and he stopped when the plays were over (most of the time. ;)). He did a throw in, and (mostly) stayed with his team. He sat during the coach’s pep talk and gave high fives! But that wasn’t the absolute best part…the game ended…time was up, but it wasn’t over. The other team watched Jack running all over that field, but he never got to put his foot on the ball…so they set up a situation so that he could score the winning goal. The team formed a wall to block the goal, and Jack had the ball all to himself. He kicked it down the field, past the “wall,” and into the goal!!! SCORE!!! The crowd went nuts, Jack was so excited, and I could barely contain myself. Never in my life have I been so touched…never. This is truly what it’s all about.

People have asked us about our decision to put Jack on a typical team instead of a VIP team for kiddos with special needs where he would most definitely have specialized instruction and be successful. The answer falls in line with the answer we have for wanting full inclusion instead of a Special Day Class when Jack starts Kindergarten. Sandi Ames, a parent advocate made the answer very clear to me. If Jack has ACCESS to the desired learning in a typical situation, if we can ACCOMMODATE him based on his unique needs in a typical situation (ie: using a motivational system with Toy Story stickers), and most importantly, if he can then BENEFIT from the learning, then there is NO reason he should have to be separated from his peers in a “specialized” setting.

That IS the point of putting him on a typical team…he has ACCESS, we can ACCOMMODATE him, and he is BENEFITTING from it all…our long term goal for Jack is that he is seen as MORE ALIKE THAN DIFFERENT. This hinges on the decisions we make now…

Here are some pics of Jack's first "real" game. :)

Running for the Goal

Kicking it past the other team


Go #3!!

1 comment:

Johanna said...

I LOVE this Kristin! So proud of Jack AND so proud of YOU!!! You inspire me!!! XOXO!