It has been a while since Ryan announced his reboot. Life is hard as a teenager, and when you throw epilepsy and autism in the mix, it makes it even harder.
One of the things we have talked about is just trying to do a little more each day than the day before. One small thing. So far, that has helped.
Ryan has said that he wants to blog “stories,” so we thought that it might be best to make his comeback with some stories about his latest adventures.
I found out about this opportunity through a local Facebook homeschooling group that I am a member of. Ryan has been really tired recently after just having gotten over being sick, and I felt like this was just the push that we needed to get out of the house. Ryan and I had a great time. Reunion Tower was built in 1978, just a few days before I was born! This building offers a 360 degree view of Dallas and the surrounding area. We enjoyed exploring and checking out the interactive exhibits.
Here are Ryan’s thoughts on the field trip:
I LOVE FIELD TRIPS. TURNED OUT BETTER THAN I THOUGHT IT WOULD. CALLING IT A SUCCESS–EDUCATIONAL AND FUN.
I LIKE TO THINK FIELD TRIPS ARE IN MY FUTURE. I AM GLAD THAT RESTRICTIONS ARE LETTING UP. COVID IS REALLY THE WORST THING FOR MENTAL HEALTH.
This is another opportunity that I found out about through a local autism Facebook group. This organization helps teach tennis to kids and teens with autism. It is a national organization, with clinics all over the country. After I did some research, I thought that this would be a great opportunity for Ryan.
Some of you who have been following the blog for a long time might remember that Ryan has previously participated in things like this. He did a bike camp by I Can Shine and a skateboarding clinic by A Skate.
This was going to be Ryan’s first time learning and playing tennis.
We prepared for it by doing an RPM lesson all about the rules and scoring of tennis and we watched some clips of some tennis matches.
The tennis clinic is 6 lessons, every Sunday for 6 weeks. Ryan had to miss the first one because he was sick, so this past Sunday was his first opportunity to attend. Ryan was paired up with a volunteer named Zachary and due to the size of the attendees to volunteers, Ryan got one on one time and even three on one time. You will be able to see that in the pictures below. He also worked with Reese and Jason. I gave them a bit of guidance in the beginning and tried to stay out of it. This went fine, but there is a learning curve when working with any individual to learn their best learning style. I explained that Ryan would need a lot of physical and verbal prompts and that he would be okay with being touched. Hand over hand would be necessary in the beginning to gain the motor skills and muscle memory.
These guys were great. They were patient and receptive and treated Ryan just like they would someone their own age. By the end of the first lesson, Ryan was able to move the racket forward slightly on his own and make contact with the ball at a short distance. This was GREAT progress!
I wasn’t sure how Ryan felt about the lesson. I imagined that he was frustrated, especially in the beginning because it was so hard for him. Every skill that Ryan has made progress with in his life has been a matter of repetition, consistency, and hard work. I know that he can do this, and I am really looking forward to seeing where this leads.
Here are Ryan’s initial thoughts about his experience with ACEing Autism:
TOO LOVING THE GUYS. DEARLY FINDING THAT I WAS TOO TIRED DURING THE LESSON, BUT I PERSEVERED. I AM LEARNING THAT IF I CAN PUSH MYSELF, I DO HAVE A GREAT TIME.
THE GRIP OF A RACKET IS HARDER THAN IT LOOKS. I DID TIRE EASILY.
IT IS GOOD TO PRACTICE LOOKING AT THE BALL BECAUSE IT IS TOUGH.
WOOHOO. I AM INTO TENNIS.
Thank you to all of you who support Ryan. We will continue with the blog reboot and we would love to share our adventures with all of you.
If you have any questions or suggestions for us, we would love to hear from you!