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“ON THE SAME TEAM”…FEEL!

Our A-Leaguers are FEELIN IT ! The BUDDIES, The COACHES, The FAMILIES…WE are ALL FEELIN IT ! & What a good feeling IT IS!! It had been so long since I had been in a dugout, I had forgotten! FORGOTTEN?!! How I could have ?!…I’ll never know! Guess all these years in the “trenches” with this SYNDROME! You become a little weary…AUTISM is hard for the individual and even harder for the family! However, a little DUG-OUT “action” is going a LONG WAY toward healing that!

The feelings that go down on a baseball DIAMOND are transformative! Anybody that does’nt believe that…come on down to SAN DIMAS any given SATURDAY and watch the A-LEAGUE!! I firmly believe DUGOUTS are CHARACTER BUILDERS!! The game of baseball takes SUCH TEAMWORK!! As does AUTISM & ASPERGER SYNDROME!!! Our individuals RELY…on networks. NETWORKS of caring individuals…understanding, informed INDIVIDUALS. A Team mentality has always been pervasive ON THE SPECTRUM!

Teams that consist of Parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins. Not to mention the real TEAM LEADERS…The SIBLINGS! We are “in the dugout “DAILY!! When we are not in the dugout we are driving to the rest of the team! A vast number of therapists and their appointments, social skills groups, Drs. visits and on and on! You could add as many to the TEAM that you or the state can afford!! The net you cast covers it ALL…or so you think!

NOW, with each and every BASEBALL OUTING…I am seeing something I have not seen before. Autistic kids “lighting-up” over seeing their FRIENDS! This A-LEAGUE is awesome! This…ON THE SAME TEAMFEEL!” I have no doubts that this will carry over to everyday life. These weekends in the DUGOUT are pointing our kids in the right direction. On the HIGHWAY to FRIENDSHIPS! The feeling that they don’t run those bases alone, their daily struggles are all WORTH IT! As our players round the bases knowing that their team is in the dugout rooting and waiting to SLAP FIVE!

Their THIRD TEAM!!! Not Mom & Dad or their Siblings…Not The Teachers or varied Therapists. Their FRIENDS ,their comrades the ones they are IN THE TRENCHES with! As they navigate their way around Our National Pastime with THEIR TEAM! Building SKILLS, HEART and CHARACTER in The Dugout!

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“A-LEAGUE” COMRADSHIP!

The relation of comrades. Friendship. Companionship!

Sounds so SIMPLE Right?!! For someone with AUTISM Simply NOT. In theory yes…in practice , well WE HOPE. Thus the constant summer camps and “social skills groups.” Which our kids NEED!(PLEASE DON”T Cut our SUMMER ACTIVITY BUDGETS!) If left alone they may not seek enough interaction. Depending on the level they function at…which can be a very wide A~to~Z range! Naturally the more verbal kids will seek more interaction but, there are alot of non-verbal skills in BASEBALL! So that levels the playing field!!

I am seeing some very animated and happy individuals!Wyatt vascilates between happy and irritable. He did something today that was HUGE for him. When it was his turn to bat HE… put the helmet on . He hates the helmet MORE than he dislikes the hat. Without any cue, he put it on …he also RIPPED IT OFF when he got to 1st base! And that’s just FINE ! So, Wyatt has learned a non-verbal cue! I am impressed with much MORE …than my boy Wyatt’s warming up to the game!

Today it was SO CLEAR that these kids are looking forward to the togetherness! I watched kids “light-up” upon seeing their team-mates AND opponents! Slappin 5′s and smiles a’plenty!! The NEAT THING about our “A-league” is that your opponents are also …your COMRADES! Practice commenced with GROUP CALISTHENICS . Very fun! The S.D. J.V. Girls softball team was out in force with a few of their friends! The more the merrier. After a great warm-up the older division split up and began rounds of hitting, fielding and base running! I shadowed Wyatt… and watched SO MUCH great interaction between players and buddies! For this group of kids…SIMPLY PROFOUND!

After that, the Angels took the field and did their mix of pitch or tee-ball…taking their choice ! No Pressure…just support and comfort! Just like my FAVORITE SAYING from the 70′s…IF IT FEELS GOOD…DO IT ! For that team “WIND IN THEIR HAIR” must be what feels good because they have wheels!!You can see the “SMOKE” as they spin around the base paths!! A good time was had by all that made it out today! A real co-hesive feel is starting to GEL amongst the FAMILIES as well! WE will follow suit and ENJOY this “ON THE SAME TEAM” feel.This COMRADSHIP that our kids are EXPERIENCING… for the first time in their short lives!

LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!

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