One of things I bitch and moan is the relative lack of activities either available to Mayor Bee or those that would be accepting of his issues. Not for lack of trying – he’s done swimming, soccer and of course Little Gym – with varying degrees of success.
Finally, I joined a relatively new special needs playgroup in the area. Quite a fluke really – I stumbled on it at Meetup.com when looking through my other group activities. I wasn’t sure how this would work out, but at the very least, Mayor Bee would be in fine company for activities. Thankfully, I have met some wonderful people with delightful children. Not only is this great on a social aspect, but I think it will help us out in advocating for our children’s needs.
So what have we been up to?
Adaptive Recreation – Adaptive Rec simply means modifying the activity to one’s disability. I never knew that Bee qualified for these types of activities. I signed him up for a swimming class. He loved it. A parent does have to be in the water with him, and after my surgery, Husband had to take over. He says that Bee did get more comfortable putting his head in the water, and learned some new songs.
However, Saturdays at 8:00 AM are brutal. In order to get everything (and everyone) together, out the door and to the class required a bit more than I think we able to manage. Plus there’s that caffeine factor, as in, not enough to get us fully functioning on Saturdays that early.
I’m not ruling it out in the future. I think it’s an awesome resource for all with disabilities. Hopefully they come out with soccer though – I think he would be all over that.
Special Needs Storytime – Every month, a local library has a storytime designed especially for kids on the spectrum or other disabilities. There is one topic and they use an array of sensory tools to explore stories, songs, art and movement. The one we attended as about colors – so not only was there a story, but singing, games and open play. Mayor Bee had a splendid time identifying colors, painting, and then basically running around with the other kids.
Karate – One of the statements that people (whether or not they think are being helpful) say is, “You should enroll him in martial arts for focus.” Of course, how does one gain focus when you sorely lack it is another story. Regardless, in one of our parent meetings interest was expressed into doing a special needs karate class. And since Bee likes to kick almost anything (soccer balls, basketballs, toys, the dog) I thought maybe this would be good. One of the parents knew someone that would be interested in structuring a special needs karate class.
However, I had no idea what to expect. I imagine the other parents weren’t too sure either. Luckily, the class was on Saturday at 10:00 AM, allowing for fully caffeinated parents to get to the studio on time. What we discovered is that one parent will need to be with said child to help out. As much as I yearned for a class where I can do a “drop and run” it’s understandable that the parents have to referee. Mayor Bee definitely wanted to participate…well, after doing his laps around the room. Even funnier, two other kids joined in and we had a delightful chorus of squealing and screeching. But the awesome part is that we knew it was going to happen, but it didn’t distract from the class.
My dream of Mayor Bee doing his first crane kick was sadly not to be (at least in this class). They passed balls to each other in a formation. They did some jumping with their feet in and out. They banged out rhythms on the floor with their hands. And at times they became distracted and ran around squealing and screeching. One time, Bee took a flying leap at one of his classmates, causing me to pull him out and warn him about his behavior. Other than that, he did very well.
Of course I’m sure my expectations were too high for a first class. I mean, he listened to Sensei Karen most of the time – a big step. So we’ll go again and see what happens. Maybe this time he’ll hold a pose!