Recently, I replied on a Facebook group when a mother asked about getting her son involved in a sport. While responding, I began to think of the sports and extra curricular activities growing up and thought I would enhance on sharing my experiences with them.
My best experience in a team sport was on a jr. Bowling league for 4 years before my behaviors got severe. It was easy for me and my mother’s wishes and i have made some friends later on as a result of my not so great bowling skills. I would be lying if I said I didn’t like it at first. It was rough. The loud stimuli of a bowling alley is no joke. But we many times had the whole venue to myself. There would be times I wouldn’t want to be there, but my mom instilled the importance of being there for my team and it did mold me into a better person in the long run. I would develop some aquaintances from peers and others I met there my adulthood.
However from the age of 8 until the same year I my behaviors became severe, I was forced to join 4H and show a pig in the county Fair. Talk about pressure and overstimulation, there was a great deal of that and I didn’t make any real friends, I was in part living my dad’s dream. I did little care but did what my parents wanted me to do. I get their desire but it wasn’t panning out the way it should have.
Also I was part of a local Challenger baseball league for special needs children in my childhood, where I really didn’t fit in because of my behaviors and intellect being more advanced. In Challenger baseball, the games were. 3 innings, and I struggled with going sometimes from being in a itchy uniform, in the outdoors. While we had buddies, I just didn’t like it, again understanding my families need for me to have social interaction, I just didn’t like it.
The majority of the aforementioned activities were before my diagnosis at the age of 13-14.
However, some activities i did enjoy once my behaviors adjusted was in Senior High School where I was part of the Bible Club and the Swim Team.
I was very interested in both activities and played integral parts of both. While not holding leadership capabilities, I did interact and attend after hours events, which made my parents happy.
Also as a child I was in the summer reading program at the local library and vacation Bible School, bit didn’t gain anything socially from them, but I love going to the same library to destress while becoming a Christian I have issues with the church I grew up in for because it brings memories of my pre diagnosis childhood and the looks that I would receive, although I would become a member in my young adult years.
Recently, I found Jesus on my terms and want to rebuild my relationship with him again. I have severe issues with going to a church service because of anxiety, but I have Devotions and prayer daily. As with my skills of web site design, I share what I read on a blogspot where I share spiritual and local needs daily.
In summary, I get parents wanting their child to be in a extra curricular activity. But you also have to make sure if they will enjoy it and not dislike it and have a meltdown or act out in a negative way that prevents the activity from occuring. Have your child try it out and if they like it, then by all means, please enroll them. However, if it’s a battle to get there and everyone involved is miserable, then my question to you is: Is it really worth it? Pick your battles!