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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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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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