A Glimpse into our autism: In the club

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Dear friend,

Yesterday he asked
Can I join football too? 
The panic rushed through my body, like the feeling you have when you suddenly realise that you've lost something. I don't want my son to lose his confidence I don't want him to feel disappointment, feel less...

He has never shown any interest in football. He has issues with hyper mobility, balance, coordination and spacial awareness and has always needed support during gym. So when he asked the question it knocked me off my feet...

Little man joined the football team and he has seen how it has brought him closer to his friends and made him feel more included in the group. But he would not be in the same club as his friends... how do I tell him that?

Most children have a hobby, do a sport or attend a club. He wants to fit, he wants acceptance. He wants to be with his friends. Why wouldn't he want that too?


Two hands holding jigsaw pieces together

I fought hard for my son to be 'in the club' I went against the initial advice and kept him in a 'normal' school. I wanted him to have the same opportunities as everyone. I believed that we had to aim high, that he was "clever" and I have never regretted that decision because he has exceeded all of our expectations.

But I have questioned that decision many times over the last 5 years. Every single time we have hit a bump in the road, I've questioned that decision. Every time he has been made to feel different, or has been excluded or has struggled, I have questioned that decision...

Butterfly with coloured jigsaw pieces pattern with text
We sit in a no-mans land where our big lad is 'too good for' some things and 'not good enough' for others... He doesn't quite fit in either club, special/normal...

We have faced this with many things, but most notably therapy and swimming lessons. We had to fight really, really, really hard to get the support he needed. If he had been at a special needs school would we have needed to fight so hard?

Now we need to fight again, for the right for him to feel like his friends. For him to have a hobby something he can succeed in and get pleasure from. We need to find something that he can do...

Yesterday he asked
Can I join football too? 
The panic rushed through my body, like the feeling you have when you suddenly realise that you've lost something. I don't want my son to lose his confidence I don't want him to feel disappointment, feel less...


Update: A few weeks ago our big lad started DJ lessons. He loves music and can tell you exactly what is in the Slam top 40 (a dutch dance music channel). His friends think it's cool! He is happy. 

A glimpse into autism is a series of short letters that explore how autism effects us on a day to day basis. Disclaimer:  this is our experience not all autistic people are the same.





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