Sometimes the sword beats the pen

September 14, 2009 at 6:11 am 4 comments

     I write a lot about the playground and friends (most truly, here). Would that the playground equalled friends for my C, but alas, it rarely does. Whoever had the not so great idea to throw a bunch of kids into an unfacilitated situation with minimal supervision did not an autism child have. We tend to think that if we just put kids together, they will learn things; things like social skills and how to make a friend. It actually does work that way for most kids, but there’s always those special few who either learn something you didn’t intend for them to learn or they spend their free time wandering the fence line.

     Enter a great Mom. She got tired of watching her child with autism wander the fence line, sometimes playing near other children, but rarely actually playing with other children. She got tired of the tears in her eyes as she watched her child struggle with loneliness that only she could see, so she did something about it. (Does she sound like me? I wish. Read on.) She called in the experts, the fabulous folks at the local autism research and resource center and asked for help. They, in turn, developed the coolest, most real life functional program I’ve ever seen to help our kids thrive on the playground, and the data from the pilot programs is astounding. Using the simple formula of a well-intentioned playground aide or two, a quickly trained peer, and our target audience kids, interaction happens. Meaningful interaction. It seems so simple. It is so simple.

     I proposed that we incorporate this program into our district, and our district responded with an enthusiastic “yes.” So next week, a team of eight of us will attend a training in this program so that we can bring it to C’s 3rd grade playground. Eight lovely people who have kids like C in their hearts and minds. They understand how difficult making friends can be, and they are going to do their best to make sure these kids aren’t alone.

     Finally, it feels good to be doing something about this instead of just writing about it. I can’t wait to see it go live.

Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Fruit from the tree The ties that bind

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mama edge  |  September 14, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Details please! What is this cool program and how do I get one?

  • 2. jesch  |  September 14, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Holy fantabulous!

  • 3. therocchronicles  |  September 15, 2009 at 8:08 am

    I have to know more about this program!!! Sounds awesome. Can’t wait to hear about your and C’s experience!

  • 4. pixiemama  |  September 15, 2009 at 9:17 am

    this is totally amazing news!

    go, you!


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