Mothering Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,221 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I suspect my DS (age 4.5) lies somewhere on the autism spectrum (he is being evaluated in November), and we have enrolled him in the "Small Stuff" (ages 3-5) soccer program through our local YMCA. Makes me kind of sad to watch him (Monday night was the first practice), as when all the other kids get in line to practice kicking the ball in the goal, etc., he is off wandering thinking about pulling grass or rocks to throw.
He actually does somewhat okay if the coach works with him one on one on a specific skill, but where does that leave the other kids? How can I help him learn to stay in line till his turn, listen when the coach is addressing the group, and try and stay focused? BTW, he has the same issues at preschool. If his teacher is doing circle time, he is wandering around looking for lights that are burned out or light switches to turn off and on. I think the whole soccer thing could be really great for him, as he enjoys running around, kicking a ball, headbutting (I think a ball is a much better target for that than me!), and really could use the self confidence and comraderie that can come from playing sports, so I don't want to pull him. Do any of you have some suggestions that I could try to help him stay focused and learn to play so he has fun?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,138 Posts
Well, I'm mostly responding to bump this up in hopes you'll get some ideas!
My spectrum kiddo sounds a lot like that. I don't know exactly what to suggest though because RDI is what has helped him be more tuned into what the adult is doing. Still, though, when he gets in a large crowd he's off into his own thing. I wish I had a good suggestion...really does sound like he needs someone one on one to help him attend to the instruction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
823 Posts
i think you should actually let him keep doing what he is doing as long as the coach does not complain about it. he IS enjoying the practice. he is checking out the world around him. if the coach does not have a problem working with him, then i would let him keep doing what he is doing.

i have worked with sports teams before as a teenager, trust me what you are describing, i am sure the coach has seen before. these are kids aged 3 to 5. if the coach has a problem, they will tell you.

the coach may assign him a buddy (a child a couple of years older) to help encourage him and work with him and help him to focus. a good coach has seen this behavior before and knows how to work with the child so that no one suffers and everyone has fun. if you are really worried, talk to the coach about it. i am sure they will work with you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
The Buddy idea is a really good one. I think you should stick with it for awhile. You could practice some of the stuff at home maybe? My DS is 5 and does soccer and his group has several NT kids who sound quite similar to your son, including sometimes my own. The attention span of kids at that age is so varied and a lot of kids zone out in a crowd or want to play something else. So i am sure the coach is used to it in this age group. Maybe the coach has some tips for you. If you continue to feel it doesn't work maybe an individual sport (like gymnastics or swimming or martial arts) or something in a smaller group?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
sbgrace, what is RDI? We are waiting for a dx on my DS (3.5) and anticipating Aspergers/ADHD. He is very much like the DS of the OP, in the sense the he has a problem with "staying on task." Anyhow, I believe the school system uses ABA--can you do ABA and RDI? Or are they exclusive? When we do sports classes at the Y, it is still a "Mommy and me" situation, although he has done well in swimming classes when there are few kids and a very good teacher to keep him focused.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
My dd excels at athletics, so we enrolled her in swimming when she was 4.5. At first (and sometimes still ) she acts like your son, although it's harder to get away in the pool.

Just keep going. If the coach is patient and willing to assist when there is one on one time (like if their each taking turns kicking at the goal or something), and he is receptive to it, then that will help a lot. The other kids won't notice much, since they are capable of taking their own turn. If your son enjoys soccer, he may eventually become accustomed to needing to focus in order to do it.

You could also try swimming too. I actually think there is something helpful about being in the water for a lot of kids with sensory issues. Plus, although swimming requires turn taking and listening, there is a lot more one-on-one interaction between the instructor and child. I see a lot of spectrum kids in the pool, and I think there is something to that.

I'm not sure what level soccer they're teaching at either, but individual sports rather than team oriented in the beginning might make it easier to follow along in the beginning.

Dd has added a gymnastics class as well this year. I was AMAZED by how well she could hold her own. She needs help remembering to take her turn or assistance with directions, but the swimming classes seemed to have set the tone for the rest. It's nice to see her comfortable somewhere.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,138 Posts
Jill, buddy system-do you think that would work for your kiddo? I just remembered that once we teamed Andrew up with an older child for a program at the library and it really did help..though I still stayed involved a lot. I'm sure it would depend on the child who is acting as the buddy and the comfort level of your son with peers.

K-girl,
The creators would likely tell you they don't go together. And the approach is way different. But I know there are people who are using both approaches to some extent so it might work. http://www.rdiconnect.com/RDI/default.asp Here is a link about RDI. This is the RDI website.
Then here is a link that describes the main teaching methods--RDI is the last one and it sort of summarizes the approach. There is a summary of ABA too so I thought it might be helpful. http://www.autismweb.com/education.htm I'm happy to answer questions. RDI has been really good for my son. But we never did ABA as it just didn't seem a good fit for my guy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,102 Posts
i think you should actually let him keep doing what he is doing as long as the coach does not complain about it. he IS enjoying the practice. he is checking out the world around him. if the coach does not have a problem working with him, then i would let him keep doing what he is doing.

i have worked with sports teams before as a teenager, trust me what you are describing, i am sure the coach has seen before. these are kids aged 3 to 5. if the coach has a problem, they will tell you.QUOTE]

This is exactly what I was going to say. I started signing my son up for activities when he was just shy of 4, and it was really commonplace for a few kids to be doing there own thing during practice. This is very young for organized sports, and it really is not unusual for young kids to lose focus.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,261 Posts
Here we have a program called TOPPS soccer. It is specifically for children with special needs. There is a very wide range of sn kids, they are all given an older volunteer "buddy" to basically show them some drills. They don't even really play games, but each child gets constant one on one, and they all have fun. There are also programs similar to this for other team sports as well. You could call your local BOE child study team office for some resources.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,042 Posts
Or you could try a different sport? Maybe your son isn't a team player but would love swimming or horseback riding.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top