Today, after speech therapy and adapted P.E. I took A to the supermarket for our weekly shopping. We passed a display of balls (the typical plastic kickball-type) and I saw one with Dora the Explorer on it. I couldn't pass it up; A LOVES Dora, and she has been working on kicking a ball in P.E.
When we got home, we went outside in the backyard (I didn't have to ask twice; A just loves going outside). She had a blast throwing the ball, chasing it, picking it up, kicking it, and doing the whole thing all over again. Keep in mind that she JUST STARTED TRULY WALKING ABOUT SIX WEEKS AGO; the fact that she is doing this is amazing. I never dared to dream that she would one day be able to stand still and kick a ball. Stand still unassisted? Balance on one leg while kicking with the other? Quickly walk around the patio? Bend over and pick up a ball? Sweet dreams are made of this!
Soon, I directed her to the little basketball hoop we have outside. We had gotten the hoop for D almost 5 years ago, for his first birthday. It's been largely unused for several years (D is too big for it now) and many times I had toyed with the idea of donating it. After all, I reasoned, A would never use it. Well, boy did that little girl prove me wrong! She loved it! I lowered the hoop down to her level, where she had to reach up only a little. She had a blast putting the ball in again and again. I am looking forward to raising the bar and having her really have to throw it in!
With A walking, my whole vision for what she can do has changed. J and I talked tonight, and we think that in the fall we will sign her up for mommy-and-me soccer! She will LOVE it. I would sign her up today, except that there is literally no time in our schedule for it. In the fall, she will go to school 3 days a week, all in the afternoon, leaving every morning and two afternoons a week free. I know we have lots of therapies to squeeze in (which is why I signed her up for afternoons vs. mornings) but we should have time for soccer. And maybe gymnastics. And ballet. I am looking forward to doing an extra-curricular activity with her that is active; so far, all we have done is music, because that mainly involves sitting!
I am so glad I bought her the ball. For less than $4, I was able to re-frame my plan for A. She will be an active little athlete...she wants to so badly, and therefore she will be.
The art of the deal: special needs child version
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