Noah wakes up happy and ready to go just about every morning of his life. Yesterday morning, we could tell he was a little upset when we heard him on the monitor. Ching went up there and he told her he had a bad dream. He had dreamt he had made a mess on the floor at school and Ms. Karen would be mad at him. Poor boy.
One of the things they discussed about Noah in his evaluation was how he doesn't really like new things, and also, that if he feels he's not doing something the right way, or if he thinks he might get in trouble, he tends to shut down for a few minutes. Because we don't do tons of new stuff at home, they've seen more of that from him at school than we have. We've known he's not brave about things like swimming or riding rides at amusement parks - sometimes he'll try and sometimes he won't. But we didn't really see it in terms of being afraid to fail.
Yesterday was also Noah's first soccer game. Over the past few days, we spent a lot of time with him outside kicking around the ball and trying to make sure he understood he can't use his hands to pick up the ball. He got on his uniform and seemed happy to go.
Then... we got to the soccer field. He wasn't having it. He kept hiding behind Ching and just refusing to even consider it.
Now, the night before, it dawned on me that Noah really has none of the concepts of soccer as such. I'm not sure he really knows what a team is. He doesn't know about kicking the ball in one direction and into the goal. I tried to show him videos of kids playing soccer because he's such a visual learner, but he didn't want to watch any. I was hopeful that if he watched maybe the first half of his team playing he'd get the general idea and then be happy to go run and kick the ball. They make it super easy on the kids his age. He's in the under 5 group, some of them played last year in the under 4s. Noah loves kids, running, and balls, so we thought soccer was a no-brainer.
There was a little set of bleachers right by where his team was playing, so we went and sat over there. We tried everything to get him to go out there and play. I told him it was ok to go try. Told him he'd have fun running and kicking the ball. Then he went into jerk mode and we told him he'd have to go home and go to bed if he didn't go try. Sigh. I got so frustrated with him.
So he didn't play yesterday. We knew this might not go smoothly, but we didn't imagine he wouldn't want to go run and play.
After we got home and things settled down, I had him come stand in front of me so we could talk. (I do this sometimes after he's been in trouble and I'm trying to explain why to him.) I told him we were sad he didn't play, but it was ok. We told him it's ok to try new things and we want him to have fun. It's so hard to know how much he understands all of that.
I think WE understand better that we'll be encouraging him to try new things a lot in the next few years. We have no idea how much this stems from his communication issues, and how much is age related, and how much is just part of his personality. But we're learning.
5 years ago