I may not have put this in the most positive light, but it's pretty realistic.
You're missing the party. You might even get a boatload of advice from people who mean well. They might be telling you that your child needs more exercise. They might be telling you that your kiddo will never fit in if they aren't hanging with the other kids on the field. Or they might be telling you that your child will never develop the skills to interact within a group because they aren't playing sports.
And let's face it - the language of mainstream boys is mostly sports.
The good news is that there are options for you. Your kiddo can win a trophy too. Your community may or may not have very many options, but there are always options. I'm going to share some ideas and opportunities from the Tulsa area, but would welcome any and all ideas you might have to share. Just add them in the comments or send me the link on our Facebook page and we will help spread the word. Got it? That's the "network" part of this thing we are doing here.
Opportunities for social activities that involve movement (some more social than others):
1. TOPS Soccer - The TOPS program is not only available in the Tulsa and Owasso, OK areas. It's a national program! Check to see if your community has one or how to start one. Our son enjoyed participating and it was great practice in learning how to win/lose in a safe and understanding environment. Basically, every kid on the field had "behaviors" going on and no one looked at anyone else with a weird expression. So refreshing! If your child enjoys soccer and has a disability, the TOPS program is a great idea. In Tulsa, you can find information here and in Owasso you can register here.
2. Challenger Baseball - In Broken Arrow they have opportunities for kids with disabilities through the Challenger Leagues. You can find their website here. The online forms are a little ancient so you will need to contact them to see if they still host baseball and basketball teams. They do still have Special Olympics teams (for adults).
3. Bowling - This is one I'm thinking of starting for my son and some of his Aspie pals. It may not work out to be in a league but it would still be good socialization and work towards our goal of good sportsmanship. I don't believe there's a whole lot of cardio involved in bowling, but hey - it's not a video game. I do have a mom friend whose son participates in bowling leagues and has enjoyed it immensely.
4. Horseback Riding - We've mentioned benefits of equine therapy before, but riding horseback is great exercise! Some local places are Bit By Bit, Right Path, & the American Therapeutic Riding Center.
5. Gymnastics - We used this to replace Occupational & Physical Therapy for a while. Our son was able to participate in mainstream classes, but Tulsa World of Gymnastics has offered special classes before.
6. Karate - Many of our network families have placed their kiddos in karate classes. Some have needed private lessons before entering the mainstream. Call your local karate centers to find the best fit for your child.
7. Swimming - Swimming lessons are always good. We had to do private lessons (cha-ching, cha-ching) but you can determine what your needs are.
It's time to get out there and try something new!