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DAD’S Vacation!!!

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 TOO MUCH 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!!

See you NEXT SEASON!!

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DIFFERENT PLACE MENTALLY!

This phrase came up in a great conversation the other day with a NEW GOOD- FRIEND. It struck me as BRILLIANT. It is …SOoo many THINGS. It is where I am, in comparison to where my beautiful boy Wyatt is. It is where the majority of the world is, as opposed to where AUTISM and ASPERGER are! It is the spot that these last 8 yrs. immersed in AUTISM has put me on. It is also “that, place you go to “…YOU KNOW….”when the going gets tough!”

THE ZONE. When we are on a mission. We are charting a course, bound and determined. It’s a great place to be! Now, I see our AUTISTIC PLAYERS in that ZONE! That “Different Place Mentally.” So far …SO GOOD for them! I haven’t had a chance to survey Parents yet on how they see the A-LEAGUE exploits affecting our kids EVERYDAY lives? But, the pictures I have taken say MORE THAN those THOUSAND WORDS!!

So let’s take our players to that zone 2 or 3 times a week! What have we got to lose? The social interaction that the kids on Wyatt’s team are enjoying is AWESOME! On last Saturdays game one of the boys tossed the ball to Wyatt & I and it lightly “BEANED-HIM” in the forehead! His eyes got big and he looked at me like…”WHAT?” He was fine and did what a ball player MUST. Shook it off! Trouble was the player that made the toss had a harder time shaking it off! Bless his HEART!

Wyatt’s team-mate Josh! The rest of the game he asked me questions about the state of Wyatt’s verbal capabilities. Very nice, and very interested in each and every answer I gave him! I told him how Wyatt says “Yada, yada,yada “OR “Diga, diga,diga! ” He then astutely pointed out that when he gets MAD (after, beaning), he says…”Yo Yo YO YO YO!!!” Very accurate ! What a perceptive boy! Josh took Wyatt under his wing after that…and I just can’t say ENOUGH about that! VERY HEART-WARMING!

Not ONLY heart-warming. I’m thinking…THERAPEUTIC! From what I’ve seen I am convinced. I also received more SOLID EVIDENCE that this SPORT ZONE, this “Different Place Mentally” is where we need to be. Today I had a very nice conversation with the remarkable Pat Grayson DeJong ! An Original “MOTHER WARRIOR.” She essentially mapped out an AUTISM STRATEGY for L. A. Unified School District! Please check out her great works here… www.autismdefender.com! Her adult autistic son Christopher lives on his own…& has only been building friendships for a few years now.

Today while we were discussing the “Fabulous A-League” she relayed to me that Christopher was NOW PLAYING BASKETBALL! She was surprised at how much he was enjoying the physicallity of it. In the past she has had to prompt and urge him to keep up with his friends. After speaking with her today sounds like he is on the road to a whole NEW SET OF FRIENDS to help him BALANCE-OUT his days!

To “take a break” from autism…and go to that DIFFERENT PLACE MENTALLY!!

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