The Play At The Plate, aka #Autism & Little League.

Our fall has been pretty busy.

We continued with team sports. Mainly for the physical activity and to work on muscle tone – but also to work on social skills.  After playing spring baseball, we gave B a choice whether he wanted to play football like last year or play baseball again.  Last fall’s flag football wasn’t all that great so I was happy to hear he chose baseball.

We moved him up one step to Single A – which is still “machine pitch”, but with an inning that a boy will pitch to a batter.  Single A is also the first division that coaches “draft” – another potential disaster. I always disclose B’s diagnoses and had been relatively lucky with the Tball coach for Spring 2014 and his coach last spring for Rookie Machine Pitch.

My luck continued – his spring coach became his fall coach! I’m still wondering if that was deliberate or if by chance, truth be told. B became a Blue Claw. There were only other four teams in the division – the rosters were a little stacked. Practices started right before Labor Day and Husband became sports chauffeur to the sports star.

Of course, practices were hard, with lots of distractions. Most were Friday evenings, after school – and September in DC is still hot. But he got better with practice.

The very first game he hit the game-winning RBI. Not too shabby.

Image posted: B's game-winning RBI in the first game of the season

Image posted: B’s game-winning RBI in the first game of the season

Games were twice a week – Tuesday evenings and Saturday afternoons. Saturday afternoons were nice because he still could attend his adaptive karate classes if he wanted.

Now,  it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. I’m pretty sure most of the parents think I’m the loony helicoptering mom that constantly hollers at her son to “stop”. Stop standing on the bench in the dugout, stop wandering around left field, stop kicking dirt in the infield, etc. He would have meltdowns when things were not going exactly the way he wanted it. You know – the hootin’, hollerin’, screechin’, squealin’ meltdowns that cause the stares and sideeyes. I tried very very hard to be patient – but he is “smarter than the average bear” and can push my buttons. There were some very hard moments during a few games that I didn’t want to go ballistic – all I can say is personally he knows my limits.

And then there were the times he would have no attention span at times to field the ball. It was absolutely maddening. And because there were 13 kids on the roster- some innings he was on the bench. That also can cause trouble so I was very close to the dugout to make sure he was appropriately behaving. Yes, we all know kids can be like that – but for “our” kids – it’s multiplied by 100 and highlighted in neon paint. It just stands out so much more.

Image Posted: One of our more eventful in-game moments: B pulled out his tooth while playing third base!

Image Posted: One of our more eventful in-game moments: B pulled out his tooth while playing third base!

But when he could hit, he did. He knew he could run, not necessarily the fastest, but rarely he got thrown out. And slide? No fear! In fact, he loved it – slid into home even when it wasn’t necessary. He got better with throwing (at least not throwing it way out of play) and even played catcher at times. We all know how wearing extra equipment can be daunting.

Image Posted: B playing catcher. At first it was ok, but one time he fell forward, got yelled at, and now doesn't like it. Oh well.

Image Posted: B playing catcher. At first it was ok, but one time he fell forward, got yelled at, and now doesn’t like it. Oh well.

Image Posted: Last game of the season. B beats the play at the plate. Turns out this is the tying run, and his team becomes the Season Champs!

Image Posted: Last game of the season. B beats the play at the plate. Turns out this is the tying run, and his team becomes the Season Champs!

The team was pretty good too. They lost the second game but they all played with heart. And not one instance of bullying, at least what I was aware.  And all the coaches worked really well with B.

Well, the team wasn’t just “good”. They were ggggrrrreeeaaatttt! They won the regular season. Then, much to my surprise, we had playoffs.

So, we played again. We were the top seed and defeated the first team. Then the Championship, which was a battle of changed conditions. First off, the game was at 6:00 PM on Election Day, which meant schools had the day off. Then they were at a different field so different playing conditions, plus it went long! Poor B was definitely all out of sorts.  He struck out his first time up, which I missed because I was stuck in traffic getting there from work. 😦

But, it was a good game from both sides…just that our team had better bats. We won!

Image Posted: One of B's hits from the Championship Game. Like I said, some of his hits were strategically  placed!

Image Posted: One of B’s hits from the Championship Game. Like I said, some of his hits were strategically placed!

Image Posted: The Playoff Champions. B was working on his balancing skills, clearly. :)

Image Posted: The Playoff Champions. B was working on his balancing skills, clearly. 🙂

Last Sunday, the team gathered one last time to have a celebration dinner at a local pizza place. There, the coach rattled off a lot of stats and fun facts. Among them – guess who had the MOST hits on the team? That’s right – B! Guess who also scored the most – B again! That meant that not only was he a good (even strategic at times) hitter, he was either fast enough or sneaky enough to score, sliding and all.

So, no more baseball until the spring. We’ll see where we end up, division-wise. He expressed interested to continue practicing – we’ll see where it goes from here. Both Husband and I are proud of him, through ALL of the moments, and hope B sees it as well.

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About OneLoCoMommy

I live in Northern Virginia and and I look like the stereotypical suburban mom, for better or for worse. My son plays baseball and takes karate (albeit adaptive). My daughter is a gymnastics diva but rolls with the boys in T-ball. I've been a Room Mom and Playdate Coordinator. I work full-time, try to work out, and love my Book Club. However, I also blog on my experiences on our ASD, SPD and ADHD journey while trying to be a better parent advocate. All in a life's work.
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