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Thread: How do you decide between protection and reality...?

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    LL2 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default How do you decide between protection and reality...?

    I am feeling very depressed tonight. Background/reminder - DS is 5.75, and has a diagnosis of ADHD and mild PDD-NOS. He has been playing soccer since the spring and generally enjoys it, although he has struggled with it some. He went to a little mini camp (five days, 1.5 hours) earlier this summer and really enjoyed it - he had a couple of bobbles, but they were generally handled quite well and overall it was a very positive experience.

    He is doing a second soccer camp this week and, well, let's just say it hasn't gone as well. For some reason, this camp has put him completely over the edge in a way the other camp never did. He leaves the field crying at least once a day, gets in altercations with other kids, etc.

    As an example, yesterday, he insisted, insisted, insisted he wanted to play goalie. How do I say this nicely? He is an average, adequate soccer play on the field but, as goalie, he was horrible. He literally wasn't even watching the field - he was messing around and if the ball came near, he *might* notice it if someone yelled his name. At one point, six of his "teammates" formed a semi circle in front of the goal and chanted in unison "we want a new goalie!" over and over again. As horrid as that was to do, I saw their point - it wasn't that he was watching and trying and failing - he was literally just not even appearing to make an effort. And yet, he came off the field glowing and asking me, "Didn't I do a great job as goalie?" What the heck does a parent say to that??!

    Today, SO asked the people running it not to let him be goalie, even if he asked (there are always more kids that want to be goalie than slots to fill) and they agreed. He still managed to get in a tussle on the field, grabbing someone's penny (sp? the vest they wear to designate one team in a scrimmage) and swinging them around. Right after that, another kid said to him, "Man you are playing BAD today." and he shoved him. Then, to top it all off, one of the people (who apparently forgot or just didn't care), let him be goalie and it was the WORST ever. He literally wasn't even looking towards the ball when it went in.

    For some reason, this whole week of camp has aroused just an incredible level of upset for me. I feel bad for him and impatient with him at the same time. I keep reminding myself that, in the first camp and in the spring soccer season, he really did pretty well other than a couple of issues, but part of me wonders if this increased roughness, mocking, etc. isn't just a sign of what's to come. Watching 99% of the other kids handle it with aplomb does nothing to make me feel any better.

    SO and I disagree on whether to send him tomorrow. I want to just let him stay home (I think he would prefer that as well), but SO is worried about him ending with a feeling of failure...not sure that, given how things have gone, going tomorrow is going to avoid that, but...how much do you get brutally honest with a 5 year old in situations like this and how much, given how little they are, do you just avoid and protect?

    Ugh...it's after midnight here...I guess I'll try to get some sleep, but if anyone has any thoughts, I would really REALLY appreciate it. I am just feeling completely shattered about all this for some reason. Thanks...

  2. #2
    Gidget2 Guest

    Default I could have posted this (m)

    It's just the details that would have been different. My son had a tough time in a play that they did at camp. He was staring at the lights the whole time. I was so angry with him, and felt so sorry for him, and wanted to scream at the counselors for not prompting him to look at the audience or at least at the other kids.

    I am sorry I have no good advice. I so understand when you said that this has around an "incredible level of upset" in you. So sorry.

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    justLaura is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    You know...this is the age for Brendan that the ADHD was the hardest for him and for us.

    And one of the things our therapist said is organized sports are incredibly tough for ADHD kids --they can't possibly be conscious of what's going on around them, and the physical outlet can trigger a ramp-up in their contact that they can't process. As a result, they don't realize what's going on on the field and other kids get frustrated.

    It WILL get better. It might not be time for organized sports yet. TRy something like swimming, or any sport that can be done with a 1-to-1 ratio student/teacher.

    The social cues part is so hard for an ADHD kid. While any other kid would be devastated by the chanting, an ADHD kid is mostly oblivious. That's at least the small balm in all of this.

    We've seen Brendan move toward a greater understanding of the social cues in the past 6 months or so, and I have to say, it's not easier. REalizing that kids are being mean to you isn't a fun realization either. But it means he's finding his place in the world...which is sort of what I think you're saying.

    ((hugs))

    Laura

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    Default I can completely relate to what you are saying

    First off, to you for the struggle you are feeling. I have been in similar situations with Noah, and it is hard to know where the line between protecting them from themselves ends, and where keeping them from "harm" from others begins. It breaks my heart to think of Timmy standing there with kids chanting at him, but Noah would have had the same oblivious reaction as Timmy. It's like they are in their own world sometimes.

    The aggression with other players is something I would be concerned about, because you don't want him to get hurt, or to hurt someone else. Being in a goalie position that causes him to stand out with peers is a hard situation, and I would have done the same as you in requesting that he NOT be put in as goalie. It's not that you are denying him a chance to "shine" as much as you are protecting him from being singled out again by his peers.

    Our OT and various others involved in Noah's care have always suggested more "individualized" sports for him- something where he is not being singled out if his performance is not up to snuff, and where participation is not reliant on a lot of organized rules or turn taking. He has been involved in gymnastics and swimming, and has even tried bumper bowling a few times. It's hard when his friends are playing baseball, soccer and football, and he is not involved, but I know for HIM, it would be a disaster. I considered soccer because is less aggressive (football = contact) and less under the microscope (baseball= strike out or missing the catch etc), but even soccer concerns me due to his lack of coordination, the scenario you described, and his inability to maintain attention for longer periods of time. I think he would be running away from the action, which could single him out. OR, he would be fighting about being the goalie....

    It's hard to do decide about sending him. I can totally relate to removing him from the potential to be chanted at again , but do you think HE would miss being there? If it would create more of an issue for him to miss the camp, then I would let him go (even if you have reservations). It sounds like he has not internalized the goalie event, because he came off the field feeling good about himself. Would he eventually realize the kids are "judging" his ability, and would that affect his self esteem, if it where to happen again? It's hard when everyone else sees something in your child that they themselves don't see, because you don't want them to be the brunt of another's joke, even if they don't feel it.

    Sorry I can't be more direct about a decision. Maybe sleeping on it gave you more clarity? Let us know what you decided. Sorry that you are feeling so torn. Just know that you are NOT alone in this. It is something that I struggle with quite often, and the older Noah gets, the more I worry about the stigmatism of others. I know we can't protect them forever, but the thought of letting them be on their own is overwhelming.

    Diana

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    LL2 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gidget2
    It's just the details that would have been different. My son had a tough time in a play that they did at camp. He was staring at the lights the whole time. I was so angry with him, and felt so sorry for him, and wanted to scream at the counselors for not prompting him to look at the audience or at least at the other kids.

    I am sorry I have no good advice. I so understand when you said that this has around an "incredible level of upset" in you. So sorry.
    Thanks so much for posting. Just to know that I'm making sense and people understand how I feel is helpful.

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    Default I can relate and a suggestion or two...

    My son has auditory and visual procesing disorders, but it is the auditory processing that gives him trouble in soccer (and team sports in general). It takes him longer to process auditory input, so when the coach is giving verbal instruction, it takes him a long time to process and then react. We have seen the coach and his teammates get frustrated with him "not listening", and this just breaks my heart.

    He has moved into a new age division for this fall and I am not looking foward to soccer season, but he likes it and wants to play. So our struggle is to balance his learning disability (and it effects) against the enjoyment of the game. I know the negative experiences will soon out weight the positive ones and I am dreading that day.

    But knowing soccer may not be the best sport in the long run, we have encouraged him in other sports. He does better in 1-on-1 sports and in coaching situations of small groups. My DS loves tennis, golf and swimming. With tennis and golf there is the "joy" of wacking a ball and at this age (7) the goal is simple... over the net or down the green and into the hole. And with swimming its even better, just swim fast to the other end of the pool.

    So my suggestion would be to guide him away from orgainzed team sports and to try more of the 1-on-1 sports... golf, tennis, swimming or even karate or gymnastics.

    I feel the pain in your post and I completely understand... as parents we feel our childrens heartache more than they do.

    -Robin
    Mom to 2 boys

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    It's interesting, because although he carries an ADHD diagnosis, that has largely gotten ignored (by me, anyway) because of the proverbial 600 lb gorilla autism spectrum disorder. This is one of the first times I've really seen it interfere with his functioning outside of the home. I mean, at home, we're used to having to try about 5 times to get his attention, waving in his face, raising our voice to deafening levels just to get him to notice, etc.

    So far soccer is the only sport he's taken any type of interest in - although that's probably in part because we encouraged it - we figured baseball would have been an unmitigated disaster for him, given how blatantly obvious individual "failure" is in it (dropping the ball, striking out, etc.) and neither of us wants him to play football. He doesn't want to learn tennis and I plan to teach him racquetball (the closest thing I have to a "sport") when he gets a little older - I think it might still be a little beyond him. Swimming isn't an option because he simply won't put his face in the water - he just dogpaddles, which he just learned to do two weeks ago. We tried karate in a couple of settings and that didn't work either. I also described drama camp to him and asked him if he would be interested - nope.

    Argh.

    I know what you mean - learning to pick up on the social cues is a very mixed blessing. I hate to think of his little heart being hurt like that. On the other hand, I am afraid he is rapidly going to end up with some very negative labels among his peers and we're in a small school system, so these are the kids he'll be cheek and jowel with for the next 13 years

    Thanks so much for your post.

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    LL2 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Hi Diana - I know what you mean. In some ways, his reaction kind of impressed me. He just put his hands on his hips, scowled and them and clearly scorned them for their misguiding thinking. Channeled for good, that could be a tremendous asset, but holy cow!

    I don't know WHY he so incredibly perseverative about being goalie. Maybe because he sees the goalie doesn't have to run as much and he sees it as a break?! In the league he played in in the spring, there weren't any goalies - some of the kids might run up and play defense if the ball got close, but that was it.

    I also question the level of discipline (or lack thereof) present in the camp. For example, one day they were all standing in line to do something and four of the boys at the end of the line started shoving each other so hard that the "shovee" was knocked to the ground. No one was crying and it didn't seem to be a fight, but STILL, this went on and on and on for over 5 minutes and nobody said anything. Am I being overly protective to think that should have been stopped? Or is that being pretty lax? These are 5 and 6 year olds.

    SO and I talked about it this morning and she really wants him to go. She is going to have someone watch DD and basically shadow him on the sidelines so she can nip things in the bud. I can see her point, as long as she is willing to do it. At the risk of sounding like a wienie, I just don't think I can watch much more of the whole scene!

    Thank you so much for your post. It really helps to hear from other people who, unfortunately, have had to struggle with the same issues...

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    Thank you so much for your post, Robin. I tried to explain how I was feeling to someone last night whose kids have no SN and just gave up. It really is something that you almost have to have lived to "get", I think - the combination of anger, frustration, impatience, and sadness.

    I too worry about what happens when DS gets a little higher up in soccer. At this point, it is still marginally acceptable to be playing "for fun" (I would call him an average player - he has excellent physical skills, but they get diluted by his inability to use them to their fullest). As I was saying to one of the other posters, I think individual sports are a great idea, it's just that we've tried a lot of them without success. He is fascinated by golf, but refuses to try anything other than miniature golf - he just shuts down whenever we start to talk about learning to play anything new, and it's hard to know how much to push it...

    Thank you so much again for your post.

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    [QUOTE=LL2]It's interesting, because although he carries an ADHD diagnosis, that has largely gotten ignored (by me, anyway) because of the proverbial 600 lb gorilla autism spectrum disorder. This is one of the first times I've really seen it interfere with his functioning outside of the home. I mean, at home, we're used to having to try about 5 times to get his attention, waving in his face, raising our voice to deafening levels just to get him to notice, etc.


    Dd who is ASD/ADHD started soccer at U-6 (5.5 years). FWIW....she was the worst goalie on the planet her first season. Didn't have a clue what to do with the ball. Actually she got pretty good by the end of the year. We found that soccer was good in most ways for her issues. It has really helped her social skills...now at U-11 (10.5 yrs) she's really bonding with a couple of team mates. What really helped us was good coaches.

    We did go through the issues with camps....like one summer when the camp coach who didn't know about her issues asked why she melted down whenever he tried to correct her. We had to explain. That helped. Dd is very passive. She melts down. Ds (4.5), who is starting soccer next month and goes to his first camp in 10 days, has some aggressive issues. He is not yet diagnosed b/c he has health problems unrelated to SID etc...but he is no doubt ADHD and probably ASD as well.

    Soccer actually helped dd with focus issues after while. We had to constantly remind her to focus on the ball for the first few years. We also had to start an afternoon dose of meds. last fall to get her past the hump. She practices 2-3 times per week and games each weekend.

    I would talked to the coach (s). Explain. Little kids...boys in particular can be really mean. They used to throw their hands up when the first coach put dd in as goalie. Our teams now don't have goalies until U-10. It's to encourage the kids more by letting them score. And U-10 and up must have extra training for goalie.

    Dh and I are split on whether the talk to dd's new coach this year but we are going to. I want her to be aware in case dd has a really bad day.

    Hope some of this helps.

    Charlotte
    Morgan & Mason
    Last edited by Teryn; 07-21-2006 at 12:01 PM.

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