Any parents here with kids who have autism and play organized sports?

Shea - posted on 03/07/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi my son is 4yrs old and this is his first yr on T-ball. My husband and I were a bit reluctant in signing him up but we wanted our boy to have the same opportunities my other non-autistic boys had. Last Saturday was his picture day and it was a challenge to get him to smile and look at the camera but I bribed him with cookies. Yesterday was his first game and of course he stood out, but he did bat twice and did run after every ball thrown his way or to others. However he likes to play with dirt, but most kids do. My husband is assisting the coach, but he does not want to let the team know about my son's autism. I just want to get peoples experiences, feedback on what worked for them and hope.

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Diane - posted on 03/09/2012

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My little boy played Milo Cricket this year (this is for 5 to 7 yo's). The first week was a nightmare, screaming and refusing to do anything he was told. But I made him watch. Things like - "You dont have to do it but you have to watch it", and he did. He already knew how to hit the ball and to bowl, but he had never had a stranger directing him, or had a lot of other kids to play with. In the end (it goes for 10 weeks) he was batting, bowling, fielding (although he thinks this sucks and wanders off all the time). And the best part was he took turns with the other kids. He doesnt like to be first, he likes to see someone else do it first so he can copy. One thing that I noticed, is that once he was told the rules (say for an activity or a small game of cricket), if the rules werent followed, it resulted in a tantrum. All in all though it was very good. He will do it again next year, and as well, he is going to play tennis - I have started prepaying him this year for that, taking him to the courts and he will watch his sister play etc. My son is classified as moderately autistic, and is high functioning, and he can play organised sport, he just needs to be prepared for it and given time to adjust.

Misty - posted on 03/07/2012

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Both of my kids enoyed learning soccer this summer....there were challenges of course with team play because the concept was totally foreign to them, but the coaches were very patient and understanding. We did let the coaches know about their needs and that they were on the spectrum or in the process of diagnosis which helped them to plan ahead for upsets and to break down instructions to help make it easier for the kids to enjoy the game...by the end of the season, both kids were following the play fairly well and having fun.... I'd say to keep encouraging him to join in and have fun...up to you if the coach is told, but for us it does help if the people involved with the kids know what they're dealing with ... good luck to your son and his team ;)

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Shea - posted on 03/07/2012

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Thank you Misty! That gives me hope that our boys can enjoy some sports. I do agree with you about informing the coach that our son has autism, but my husband feels adamant that if we do they will see him as a burden on the team, My husband is a asst coach on the team so this helps my lil on adapt easier. Good luck with your boys and their sports.

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