On Wednesday afternoons, I drop off Jonah at my folks' house with his backpack of homework. Then Ian and I go to the middle school gym for a recreation program for kids with special needs.
We signed up for the class, because Ian needed an afterschool program where he could socialize and get exercise. He doesn't have the attention span or the upper body strength for a traditional sports program, so we had to go the special ed route. Besides, boys' sports programs are dominated by the Crazy Sports Dads Who Think Their Kids Are Going To Play For The Mets. Those dads wouldn't be able to deal with my spacy boy.
However, this recreation class isn't quite right for Ian. Most of the kids are very low functioning, so there are no opportunities for socialization. Also, there are too many random noises and shouts going on. Ian can't sort through all those noises to find out what he's supposed to do. He clings to me nervously and I whisper in his ear what to do.
We haven't dropped out of the class yet, though. The teachers, parents and nannies are the sweetest people. The kids are awesome. Each kid is kind of randomly doing their own thing. It chaotic and crazy and that amuses me. Adding to the craziness yesterday were twin five year old boys with Down Syndrome. They just ran around in circles and hugged people. The teacher has some general ideas of how the class should go, but with all those kids doing random things, you just can't expect to keep to a plan.
I should probably look for a different class for Ian, but I like it. It's a relief from the world of the perfect and the straight and the order.
Related, Michael Bérubé unleashes his fury at those who try to cure people with disabilities.
Read about this sweet hotel manager, also in my parents' town, who has a room just for families with an autistic child.