Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I've mentioned on this blog before that my son TJ was born missing the lower part of his right arm. He just turned five, and so my mind has been turning to the issue of organized sports. I have five sons, and so for most of my adult life, I have been sitting in bleachers cheering them on. TJ hasn't started a sport yet, but I feel he is now ready to be part of a team. However....now the question comes up of "which way do we go"?
When I say that, what I mean is....do I enroll him in a group specifically for kids with special needs, or do I try to get him started on the "regular" city league? I see pros and cons to both. Just today I was forwarded this amazing video of an eight year old boy with one leg who plays catcher for his baseball team. It is definitely an inspiring two minutes that you can watch by clicking here:
I watched Adam play and thought, "truly an example that a person can do anything they desire if they work hard enough at it." But then I have to admit I wondered if his parents were heavily involved in the sporting part of his life. I am not athletic in any way, shape, or form. I'm the reason people use that horrible line of "you throw like a girl." My kids have always been at a bit of a disadvantage as far as having a mom out there coaching them or giving them pointers. That's the main reason why I am leaning towards the Endeavor Games, especially since our local college is one of the national training centers. These leagues are specifically set up for kids with special needs, and I am hoping I can find a coach who would help TJ come to love sports and who would help him build his self-confidence.
However, this idea has met some resistance from some of my friends, as they feel I shouldn't limit TJ by putting him into a "special" program. They feel he should play in the regular city league so that he could see that he could accomplish anything he puts his mind to.
So my question for the day is.....do you have a child with special needs who is involved with sports? How do you approach the issue of inclusion? I would love to know what has worked or not worked for your family.