Every now and then, I'll mention that Smunch has some behavior issues. They're hard to pinpoint and hard to describe in a way that doesn't make him sound like every other six-and-a-half-year-old on the planet, but I get the sense he's a little "different". I still can't describe it, but it was painfully evident a couple of weeks ago during his soccer game. He was totally out of it. He'd kick the ball, then turn around and run the other direction. He didn't pay any attention to whether he was offense or defense. He wandered around the field talking to himself. I don't have any expectations that my kid is going to be a soccer super star, but it's really hard to watch him be that clueless...especially knowing just how much he *loves* both playing and watching sports.So, on Daddy's birthday, the family went out and practiced soccer at the school. We could give him a little more direction and let him know where he was going wrong. Mam had several sportsgirlship-based meltdowns, but we all still had a fun time.
When the next game day came around last Saturday, I was inspired to try something Smunch's occupational therapist (OT) had shown us. He went to occupational therapy for several months, but it was never very clear that it was doing anything for him except getting him really wound up and costing us a lot of money that insurance doesn't cover. Still, I figured it was worth a shot. His OT gave us this tunnel, which is really like a giant sleeve, made out of stretchy, knit material. The idea is that pushing his way through this tunnel (which doesn't have any solid support to it) somehow organizes his brain or his vestibular system or something.
I know. It sounds like phooey, doesn't it?? And I can't prove it isn't since we all went and practiced soccer once before his next game, but I swear, last Saturday, after pushing his way through the tunnel three or four times, he went to his soccer game, where Daddy and I sat politely on the sidelines and clapped when good things happened rather than exhorting him to run the other direction and pay attention to the ball. He scored FOUR goals. He was engaged. He was psyched. I was thrilled for him.
I'm curious to see what tomorrow and his next soccer game brings...