Our boys are on the U-5 “Yellow Jackets” Soccer Team. A few months back, the boys got to participate in the Red Devils Soccer Clinic for Autistic Kids that was totally awesome (click here and here for posts on the event). The boys had an absolute blast at the event and it was one of the highlights of their year. As a result, we decided to have some faith and put them in a soccer league.
We got an email about two months ago saying that because there weren’t enough coaches, the boys may not be on a team . . . . .a bit disappointing so we started thinking about secondary plans. However, a week later we got a call from “Coach Jason” who lives in our neighborhood and he said he’d be coaching the boys. I explained that we’d probably be at all the practices to help with the boys and explained the situation. He simply said, “Hey look, I’m in it to let the kids have fun so if that’s what you want, then let’s give it a shot.” Sounds good to me!
The boys LOVE their soccer shoes and uniform. Unfortunately, they can’t put on the shoes, shinguards, and socks by themselves so it takes some extra planning to get ready for practice and games but they are so excited. I teach piano in the late afternoons and my last lesson finishes as their practice starts. That means that I need to have them in their soccer outfits + water and everything ready two hours before their practice. The boys LOVE IT since they can wear their soccer outfits for the afternoon. They have their own little soccer balls, they know which number uniform they are supposed to wear, and they are having a blast.
I’m glad we have a friendly parent group and everyone is so supportive of each other. I think only Coach Jason knows that the boys are autistic and he’s really been phenomenal. He is actually in a congregation that meets at our LDS bldg a few hours before we do. The boys saw him in his suit at church and recognized him before I did! For those of you with autistic little ones, you’ll know that’s a major accomplishment!
We are three games into the season and really enjoying it (the team is 2-0-1 but we’re not supposed to keep score). Sometimes, the boys would rather sit on the side and watch other kids play DS and I’ve even had one walk off the field because “there is only one ball and all the kids are kicking it.” At least they are having fun . . . . and it’s been a great experience so far! We’ve had a few breakaways and a number of ‘almost’ goals but the most important thing is that they are excited and they are learning so much from this experience. GO YELLOW JACKETS!