It’s OFFICIAL! The newly formed Autism Youth Sports League has hit the ground running Literally! At Thursday’s 1st practice we ended it running… from an awesome summer thundershower/ downpour! I have come to the BELIEF that GOD was crying tears of JOY!! Joy that our special players finally have a LEAGUE TO CALL THEIR OWN!!
Their own “Home~Base”…A~League! A place where they can be themselves and play BALL! With NO-ONE to question it. No explanations needed. Because we are ALL on THE SAME TEAM! Team Autism!
The players and families on “Our Team” are amazing people to say the least! No Derision, No Pressures! Just plenty of ENCOURAGEMENT, Understanding and Instruction. Fun on ALL~LEVELS! Today Sat. July 17th 2010 will be long remembered! Lora Mancini had a dream of this “Baby” … The idea of ~Youth Sports for kids with Autism.
WWAAaaaaaa!~((SLAP))!! Today It was born.With a GREAT…”APGAR” Score! A little glitch will occur here and there for the 1st few weeks- but, that is to be expected. We will undoubtedly be busy ironing all of those wrinkles out as we gain our footing.With MUCH MORE than capable President Manual Zapata as coach, teacher/father. I can’t be happier or PROUDER to have a hand in helping to “rear this child.” The incredible turn-out of families says it all! We are on the right path. The RIGHT HWY. The highway to not “wasting our time on the ground!” Our time on this planet! Focus on the powerfully POSITIVE! So many things in life are trivial and menial…The important things are LIFE~ AFFIRMING and you can feel it! Such is the case with A.Y.S.L. The Power here is PHENOMENAL ! Other worldly~ Divine. You CAN feel it!!
Am I over the TOP?? Perhaps, you may think so. However, parents, family, friends and ALL attending today understand where I am coming from. It is ‘in the air there‘ and you can just FEEL IT!! Sports has that POWER! Always has and ALWAYS will. Men know about it and the ‘smarter’ females too!! hehe (don’t be mad all you non-sports chicks!) Adding this dynamic with the almighty Autism is a delicate balance. A chemistry you play with. I often say Autism is all about “Finding your Formula.” …http://autismhwy.com/blog/?p=47….
The formula that works for your child, for you and for your family as a whole. Finding that delicate balance to help your ASD member to become as Happy and Successful as possible! This new factor we are inserting into that ‘chemistry set’~Organized Sports opens a whole NEW DOOR! A new dimension previously untapped. A DOOR to a world of self worth and self pride. A door NO ONE had been knocking on for them. Lots of players at the ballpark today “opening those doors” and many adults with “tears of joy “watching it happen!! IMAGINE THAT!?
What can I say about the Dad’s of the A~LEAGUE?!! Can you say…’HAPPY CAMPERS’?? I can, because frankly we ALL are. But as most know…MEN are the best campers and HAPPIEST when camped out watching SPORTS! Live or otherwise! So many of our father’s had closed the door on a little league experience. After an AUTISM Diagnosis most MEN have a huge transition to make. The transition from great expectations to no expectations. For some men that is frankly JUST TOOMUCH to take. Some may never “get it”, never release those expectations and embrace the “NOW.”
It is a tough pill to swallow admittedly. But, nonetheless the medicine must be taken. in order to move on!! Jon Hope of the San Gabriel/Pomona Regional Center had asked me in the spring if I would sit on a parent panel.The panel would speak to his staff about …living with AUTISM 24/7! Perfect for me because, these days it seems like that’s all I do!! He also recruited a few other Moms. A-League creator Lora Mancini and another great A-League Mom Nicole Johnson. It was an amazing opportunity. Something struck me as very timely. At the end there was a GREAT QUESTION. A question about what about the MEN …how could we help engage the men in their child’s lives…???
Well you KNOW MY ANSWER………Baseball Baby!! This experience was such a GREAT PRECEDENT! Autistic people deserve this right to a happy healthy way to grow up. To bond with their father’s especially! There is just something so transformative about sports. That on the “same team feel.” We witnessed the power it holds!!
I have never seen such a HAPPIER GROUP OF GUYS!!
Happily trekking out to the ballpark each week not knowing what to expect yet, hoping for the BEST! Well…in MY MIND they got what they were hoping for and MORE!!
HAPPY Father’s Day to the awesome ,supportive~ willing to understand ~A-League Dads!!
Already in the works! We are barely taking a breather… because baseball is still calling! We won’t be home if the Avon lady reaches out this Summer! The moms of the A-League have other plans! Not to leave out the Dads~ Because THERE IS a strong representation on board. They will have to make a new lawn-mowing schedule. Saturday mornings are taken!! We’ve had a very good turn-out for our Registration so far!! With many players returning! It is very exciting to see the influx of kids ready to give it a shot! AWESOME!
Today we had an assessment “so to speak” …just to get an idea of each player! WooHoo 3 girls were there today! Love to see that, I grew up in the dugouts of Glendora and Covina!! So lets hear it… any more players with pig-tails?? C’mon down!! PLEASE!
In the initial season the teams were randomly drawn. It worked out great for the most part. This time around we would like the “Crushers” and the “Bullets” to have a little more edge. Not to keep score and be competitive in that manner. However, we think some players need to bring-up their skills with kids near or at the same level ! It will be a delicate chemistry! We ARE all a little like mad scientists anyway, so it seems fitting lol! (I have said AUTISM means : “Finding your Formula” ) http://autismhwy.com/blog/?p=47 I have complete faith we are up to the task. We understand AUTISM & BASEBALL…and what an Explosively Awesome Combo they are!!
I had a very nice Brunch planned with a very hard-working friend so I missed today’s evaluation. I arrived as they were breaking it up. I first thought that it was a full blown game~ there were that many people there! Fantastic to see that the enthusiasm has spread!! They will not be sorry GUARANTEED!
Lora Mancini and Carol Zapata…Awesome Aut~ Moms carried out the duties today with the help of a very nice student working on his service hours. This is great, programs that encourage our youth to research and reach-out to Autism!! I can’t say enough about that ! Here’s hoping more and more of that is created! There is a real chance here to engage our youth in some… more than worthy, community service. Much like what the S.D.H.S. J.V. Softball team did this past season. The AWESOME TEAM of beauties came out to help guide our kids around the bases! Many smiles later, one of the young women did an amazing thing. Creating a service project Athletes for Autism.” Our hats off to Kayla Norrie !! THANK YOU to you , your sister Brianna and the entire team!! Oh and a special thanks to Wyatt’s “CRUSH” Jennifer Hampson! These girls recruited and scheduled extra help for each A~LEAGUE practice and game! BEYOND BOMB !! called “
Coach Megan Spano was invaluable as well! The JV Softball coach that ALSO works with autistic children!! So many AMAZING people gave of themselves. Going above and beyond at every turn. What a wonderful group of people. So hoping we all do it again and again!! Season AFTER Season. Recruiting new faces along the way!!
Well here it is the end to a perfect start!! No, not “The ~End”…as in That’s all folks! Because there is MORE , where that came from. Much MORE!! After seeing the overall success of this program, there is no-where to go but UP ! Our KIDS CAN PLAY BALL!! Very apparent and why not? What were we thinking? (as they say) Well point of fact is we weren’t. PLAIN and SIMPLE!
Nobody was. There are SOMEBODIES out there that still won’t.When the rest of the world realizes that our kids are intact. They are able spirits.Able to run, throw, hit and catch. The art is in learning how to maneuver with other people in the world. Each autistic individual is different yet, the same, all at varying degrees. Did you catch that?…I’ll wait a bit while you re-read that one. lol Now imagine a mercurial child in a mercurial environment. That is a start at explaining the complexity of it.
Having had the whole league under the ASD Umbrella made it easy for us to manage the kids in the way that they require. As parents/coaches we were able to gauge our kids limitations and desires accordingly. Kids were given the power to play their game at their speed! It was and IS a beautiful thing. A thing that must continue. As the little league rules read …we are NOT ALLOWED to have an autism only league. SCREECH………………….Did I hear that correctly? “It’s not fair to kids with other disabilities.” Is the pervasive reasoning surrounding this rule written for equalities sake. Then ITS TIME for the right to have an AUTISM ONLY rule added to the “Green Book “
A few board meetings back ex-president Moni suggested I read the “Green Book.” Someday I will. It doesn’t matter what color that book is, the bulk of those rules will not apply. Autism means throwing the “Rule Book” out the window some days. It is imperative that AUTISM be recognized as separate from other disabilities. For purposes that we have on the baseball diamond and in theclassroom. THOSE ARE CIVIL RIGHTS. Seriously. The state of and/or lack of services and venues needs to be totally re-vamped. In most cases created. There are simply more and more Autistic Spectrum People in this world. Acceptance, mass understanding and recognition need to prevail.
With the help of strong determined parents and good~ willed benefactors this WILL HAPPEN. I feel it, along with 100′s of thousands of others. We are ALL Feelin’ IT. That it is high time for understanding ,acceptance and respect. Respect for being different and acceptance , for the ways that we navigate through life. We are all human we all crave understanding, acceptance and respect. As a parent of one of the A~Leaguers ,I have seen a new look in Wyatt’s eye. A look of pride and self esteem. This is what life is all about! What took us so long ~~WHAT WEREN’T WE THINKING ??