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A Celebrated…SEASON!!

Seems I just heard about A-League a couple of days ago. What ?? Autism Baseball ? Little League teams for players with AUTISM !? Really? YES, REALLY !! And as the saying goes TIME FLIES when you’re having fun!!

The INAUGURAL SEASON ends this Sat.! Can’t believe how fast and smooth it went…considering (?). I mean, I had A LOT of people looking at me with consternation a few times. I love to chat it up as I go along my way. So, many people I come across know all about AutismHWY & A-League. Just can’t stop talking about them. I see both projects as a WORLD OF HELP!!

And a World of FUN!! I really didn’t think Wyatt would enjoy it as much as he has! Before his AUTISM set in…he would play a little whiffle ball. Hitting and running 2 yr.old style! When we would say, “Hey Batter-Batter” he would lift his leg like a pitcher on the mound ! But, that went away and I didn’t want to push it. I could get him to play ball /catch with me in the pool. So I guess I kind of settled for that. But, no more! This outlet to exercise and interaction with teammates, coaches and friendly families…AWESOME!

Something worth fighting for and celebrating!!! JUST WHAT WE’RE DOING!! Join US this Sunday in San Dimas at Marchant Park! 1-5 P.M. We will be there honoring our players. For giving it a shot! Learning a lot and making friends. Friends with AUTISM! What a concept. So many would have you believe that, that is impossible. Yet, we parents, coaches, teachers, siblings and care-givers …KNOW BETTER! We witnessed it! A pure success for kids and adults. It was a little bumpy here and there…but just like any good ride you just hold on and don’t let go!!

Which is EXACTLY RIGHT!! We will keep the ball rolling with a SUMMER/FALL Season!! All the info can be found at the SDLL website! You can click on from our Interesting Site section on the left!! Registration will be at the ballpark this Sunday and next Saturday! NOW back to the Celebration at hand!! We are really looking forward to this! There will be Games and Food for mind and belly! An Awesome Raffle…for FUN PRIZES…An Amazing Performance by an Amazing Band…ARREST MY SISTER for fantastic entertainment !! Last but not least the CELEBRATION of this accomplishment! The Accomplishment of starting out a season and seeing it through! A season like NO~OTHER, that had never been done before!! MAKING HISTORY …acquiring friends…learning the game… while having FUN!!

IT CAN’T GET MUCH BETTER THAN THAT!!

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Season’s SHIFTING…

…as we tick into SUMMER from SPRING! What an amazing spring we have had! The very 1st ALL~ AUTISM~DIVISION! Thankyou to LITTLE LEAGUE, San Dimas Little League …League President, Tim Roe and Mom on a Mission “DIVISION VISIONARY” Lora Mancini. Without the ALIGNMENT of these entities we would have been missing the boat this season yet again. HAPPILY not the case!

With this initial season we have seen and felt amazing things.For the MOST PART… very clear sailing! Our young players connecting and bonding with peers like never before! Social SKILLS to the 10th POWER! I have not really seen one meltdown or unhappy kid in ALL of the practices and games. We HAVE HAD a few stomps, pouts and whoops around the bases from time to time. The only bat throwing is not in anger …more in danger. Whoops! Some of the kids are not quite sure about that dropping of the bat ritual. (We will be working diligently on that to be sure…)

Which we will have time to do …this SUMMER!! Woo Hoo ~The adventure continues! Our season ends June 5th… and after we Celebrate that & take a couple of weeks off…WE WILL BE BACK!! With a Summer-League! So Awesome… especially this summer, when California has ~completely~ cut our Summer DAY-CAMP Budget to – ZIP ! Uh Oh…everyone with a kid on the spectrum knows…busy is good. So busy, “lucky us” will be!! Thanks again LITTLE LEAGUE, S.D.L.L., Tim Roe, Lora Mancini…& the hard working moms and dads on the board and on the field. SUMMER in the DUGOUT!!

Our hats are off to you!! You have affected such change and happiness that the effects will be rippling on for years! How is that possible you say ?? Simple. Two words. SELF ESTEEM! A simple yet, pure basic human need. Something we have not been affording these amazing kids. Seems society had decided that they didn’t have the skills or desire or the NEED. Society has been ~Wrong~dead wrong! I have seen EVERY kid open up. Regardless of “how-autistic” you would consider each player. We ARE all variations on A theme…and this baseball breaks BARRIERS! I have been seeing it, living it, breathing it …..WRITING IT!!

I have thoroughly convinced myself and anyone else who’ll listen! This IS the way to go SELF ESTEEM THERAPY …so simple. The season has only been a handful of weeks…just thinking of the continued confidence and happiness we can build… WOW ,The possibilities are SO GREAT!! Lora is taking steps to let the little league organization know how important this season has been. She also needs our help to explain the value of an all AUTISM DIVISION! If we have the numbers to fill teams in each community then I say…”keep ‘em seperated.” It just makes sense for purposes of commonalities and cohesive teaching styles. I’ve been trying to tell people AUTISM is a whole other entity. ISSUES and VARIABLES. But if all players have the same issues and variables it is so much easier to move forward as a group.

A Common Understanding! It’s a beautiful thing …we strive for!!

Please E-Mail…….sranck@littleleague.org to tell him why it is beneficial to continue on with an AUTISM DIVISION….. Parents, Interested Parties…and…Proffessionals PLEASE !

Thankyou Greatly! AutismHWY!!

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PRACTICE MAKES….

PERFECT! That’s how the SAYING goes, anyway. Isn’t it funny that we always say… we aspire for perfection? Then we turn around and say, NOTHING IS EVER PERFECT! Talk about a safety net. Even with our language and sayings we make room for our OWN imperfections! We need to be that forgiving with EVERYONE in this regard. In ALL SPECTRUMS of life.

This is what is SO BEAUTIFUL about this “A-League”, Lora Mancini has implemented! Our kids are playing at their own SPEED! Their coaches will not “Ride them.” Their team-mates will not “Down them.” Everyone is out there doing what feels GOOD! For most , being on the DIAMOND alone is monumental!! That ALONE…FEELS GOOD!

NOW….if we can JUST get some of the parents to take off their HIGH EXPECTATIONS HAT!!! lol ! Such as life! It is very hard to de-program years of striving for perfection. The “unattainable!” Having a child on the spectrum should massage some of that “INSTINCTUAL perfection-striving” out of you! At least if you want to live a less stressed LIFE. What a conundrum…this condition called HUMANITY!

So Wednesday’s practice was fun for most! Wyatt was not in the best of moods. He wanted to do a preferred “self- stimulatory behavior”…which DID NOT involve bats & balls! Some days he is not as receptive as others! When you deal with autism you realize that sometimes that’s just the way the ball bounces! The sun was genuinely warm…& it really felt like spring! FINALLY! We rolled out our fence and away we went!

Scott Norrie a FANTASTIC SAN DIMAS resident has dedicated himself to the A-LEAGUE this season! He is such an inspirational coach…really doing the right thing! Taking the time to devote to 4 teams is PHENOMONAL! (Aside from his JOB, FAMILY & other coaching commitments!) While I am speaking of his family… & what giving people they are! I should mention Scott’s daughter’s Kayla and Brianna have been side by side with their DAD helping our kids!!

Yesterday we had the whole SAN DIMAS High School J.V. Softball team “mentoring” the league. I can’t express how much this makes my heart swell! Each girl buddied with our players …engaging them socially and keeping them on point with game-play! SO COOL! I will tell you just about EVERYONE had a smile from ear-to-ear!

Our local news station KNBC filmed and interviewed randomly! Very interesting to see kids so …UNAWARE OF THE MEDIA! Refreshing really!

Kids just wanna have FUN! ALL KIDS ! Thanks to ALL the great people that have “PULLED OUT ALL THE STOPS” for these awesome kids! As time goes on we see kids really finding their “Niche” so to speak! We have a 16 yr. old player named Cosmo on our DODGER team. It has become clear that Cosmo pays extra attention to home base! When the TEE is used for hitting, then removed for running…whomever is nearby “handles that.” Cosmo will REPLACE the TEE over the plate each and every time! He places the black base of the tee, over HOMEPLATE. Lining it up EXACTLY! With NO WHITE showing…he places it until it is PERFECT!

Which is EXACTLY what Cosmo is a PERFECTLY beautiful person through and through! Striving to be what WE ALL FEEL WE MUST BE………

PERFECT!!!

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“TAKE ME OUT…

…TO THE BALL-GAME”!?

Wow, something SO COOL is about to take place here! In our corner of the sandbox! “A-LEAGUE” Little League ! Autistic players make up a FOUR TEAM League! Here in San Dimas California and Opening Day is THIS SATURDAY March 13th at 9:30 a.m. www.sandimaslittleleague.com So much fun in store. San Dimas Little League blazing a trail! NICE!!

What, is really NICE!? Is LORA MANCINI! Mother on a mission. You’ve got to love that! Lora had a vision…and it is about to materialize! Lora did all the “leg-work” it took to get this together! Quite an awesome task she has accomplished! Along with League President , Tim Roe and the efforts and donations of many wonderful people. Talk about ripple effect! They may never even realize how many people this will help. She is on a fast track to making this something autistic kids can look forward to. 50 kids this season! So… 100+ PROUD parents and extended FAMILY MEMBERS as well! Lots to look FORWARD TO!!

INDEED! “My Mantra”…Our day is at hand! The awareness IS GROWING! This is really a great indication of that. The fact that the local news and papers have featured “our kids” IS HUGE! Quite exciting for the adults. The kids just want to play! I am sure many of the parents I will be enjoying these games with, had given up. Given up on the idea of living at the ballpark every season. I know I had. So a bit of that dream is BACK!! Yes! All parents want to do a little “vicarious living!” WOO-HOO! Go TEAM!!

At the last practice one of Wyatt’s team mates Kevin P. noticed my “puzzle-heart” bracelet. Knowing it is an autism support icon. He asked me “How’s your Heart?” All throughout practice…he had also informed me that my response should be “FINE.” Such a thoughtful and UNIQUE BOY ! As practice went on I’de hear…”How’s your heart?” My response ,(as scripted) “Fine!” Kevin is so… RIGHT! My heart is better than fine!! When you open your heart to these awesome people, you’ll grow in a whole new direction! So off we go… to the BALLPARK! Hearts full…smiles planted! What an amazing experience this will be and I feel so priveleged to be a part of it.

Wyatt is surprising me so much with his “game-play.” My sweet boy is giving it his best, despite his deficits! I can see him trying to make me PROUD…and really what more could you ever want from your child?

Photos Courtesy of www.sgvtribune.com – READ THE FULL STORY HERE

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