PLAY BALL!

This is the day of the week when the post is a “feel good” piece about our community.

It could be a personal story of inspiration.

A kudos for a job well done by an organization.

Basically, it makes you feel good!  Who doesn’t like to start their weekend feeling good?  Right.

If you have ever been to a baseball game you know that the shout from the umpire signaling the start of the game is

PLAY BALL!

Do you remember this as a child? Do you remember the first time you were at bat with your parents cheering you on in the stands?

These are common memories for all of us.  Memories that we want our special needs children to have as well.

Enter- Challenger Division Baseball.

Established in 1989, the Challenger division of Little League lets over 30,000 boys and girls ages 4-22 years with special needs play baseball nation wide.

We joined Challenger Baseball four seasons ago.  During first season, we questioned if we were ever going to make it onto the ball field.  My son would start screaming as we made the turn onto the road where the ball fields where and this lasted almost the whole season (March – May).  By the end of season his first year he was able to sit in the dugout and watch his teammates.

My husband and I decided that Challenger Baseball would be a good place to work on flexibility with our son.  So we signed up again.  Our second season was a little better.  Some weeks he screamed the whole way there and some weeks he only screamed when we got out of the car.   But he did get out on the field and take his turn at bat most of the time.

By season three, gains were made all around.  His coach called him the most improved player!  He would go up to bat without hand-over-hand help and willingly field balls with the help of his “buddies”.  Buddies are boys from other teams in the little league who would take turns helping the challenger teams each week.

There were still times where he would protest, but nothing like the way he did the first year.

Season four was the real break through!  This last season he was so happy to put on his uniform and would run from the car to the field each game day.  Which gave us a new opportunities to work on parking lot safety 🙂

If someone would have told me that first year would have been filled with screaming and protesting, and then in a few years my son would want to go to baseball and cry when the season was over.  I would have said how? What changed?

Well, nothing changed over these years.

We just stuck with it.

 We made him put on his uniform even if he protested.  We drove to the ball field even with screaming coming from the back seat.  We walked him up to bat even if he dug in his heels and didn’t want to take a step forward.

This last season

he played,

he laughed,

he smiled.

He enjoyed himself.

That would have never happened if we didn’t take it one game at a time.

This is a youtube video about our local Challenger Division.

 We are so thankful we stuck with it.  And even though my son can’t communicate in words that he is happy we stuck with it too.  The enjoyment he had this last season says it for him.

Do you have a Feel Good Friday Story to share?

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This entry was posted in Autism, Parenting, Special Needs and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to PLAY BALL!

  1. create14 says:

    I know how hard that first season was for you, from our own experience with our daughter. Sometimes I struggle in deciding what things to force until she enjoys, and what to just let go. It is always nice to see happy results years later, and know you made the right decision.

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