If you live in a rural-ish area, like we do, chances are the sports options for your Special kiddo are slim to none.
Gymboree is too far away. So is the Y. And the gymnastics program in town that he could maybe (emphasis on maybe) join is way outta my budget league. Sure…there are town rec things I could plug Trevy into. I’m all about integration. But let’s face it. He needs an aide with him at all times. (safety, attention span, new skill learning, yada yada) And while I can (and do) fill that role…I would rather be cheering mommy on the sidelines. I’ve got the pom-poms and everything. If Bristel’ll let me borrow them. Also, many sports are over his head right now. I don’t want him to be Lost Puppy or frustrated because he doesn’t understand what’s being asked of him. Which is why I signed him up for The Challenger baseball team this season. It’s wonderful. He rocks the uniform.
And the drive is about 10 minutes (I told you I was lazy!) longer than I’d like. We need something here. In our own community. After all, we already have the special ed preschool and beyond in town. We’ve got the kids. We just need the program.
Which was the catalyst for me reaching out to our local chapter of the Special Olympics. I learned from the website that Trevy is too young for their primary program…which begins at age 8. But…
“ In early 2007, Special Olympics created this (Young Athletes) pilot program to reach out to children with intellectual disabilities ages 2 to 7, and to welcome them and their families to the Special Olympics movement. The program made its global debut in fall 2007 at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai, China. “ read more…
So. Myself and a group of (other crazy) parents met at a little café in town last night. Along with a representative from the Special Olympics. Who was kind enough to explain the Young Athletes program to us in detail. And field our many (I coulda been a journalist) questions. Including how the heck do we launch this thing?!
It’s overwhelming for sure. I’m much better on the creative level than the organizational.
But I think we can do it. I really do.
And we already have a volunteer coach. Her only demand is a whistle!
click the image above to check out the Special Olympics opportunities in your area