My son just turned 9 and is starting to get frustrated at not being able to run as fast as his friends.  I am planning on addressing the issue with his classmates again, but this time specifically telling them it is MD, etc.  We will have the kids take turns in ankle weights during gym, but I was wondering if any of you had any tips for creating more empathy on the playground?  Jordan's friends can't relate to his problem b/c he seems fine around the classroom.  There are no steps at school, which allows him to roam normally throughout the building. Perhaps if he needed an elevator the kids would realize that there is a real problem.  I have told Jordan simply to tell the kids to wait up, but he doesn't want to draw attention to himself.

Any advice?

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HI Regina --

 

This is a tough one and alot depends on the school, kids etc.  Alex is still very mobile but has never participated in the crazy recess sports and running play.  When he was younger, he would play on play structure and swings and that was good.  3rd grade was tough because he did not use scooter and kids didn't hang with him much. He was alone and isolated most of recess time.  His teacher implemented a "buddy system" that had pros/cons.  4th grade - he started riding his scooter at school full-time.  Because Alex is shy and reserved, he didn't really ask kids to hang or play with him....it was tough.  Plus kids are getting older and they don't swing as much etc., so Alex felt he would get made fun of if he still played and swung.  This year (5th grade) has been much better.  Alex has gotten assertive plus has some nice friends in his class.  He has started playing 4-square with the kids.  He just tells them to hit the ball gently to him and all is good.  Every now and then, a boy will hit it hard to him...but not often.  He play every day with same kids and they treat him really good.

 

The kids all know about Alex and don't make a big deal about it.  Unfortunately, they don't go out of their way to include him or slow down for him.  They will help get people out of his way on scooter etc.

 

Alex attends a small school and they have been really good to us.  It has been hard but this year is the best so far.  Next year, he goes to middle school.  I am scared to death...It's hard.

 

Good luck to you and your lttle guy :-)

 

Kim

Thanks, Kim--

Your situation sounds very similar to ours right now.  Jordan I think generally plays alone at recess, even though he gets invited to parties and things and otherwise seems generally included.  I have told him to stick with 4 square many times!  Maybe he'll take it to heart more this spring.  He does play kickball sometimes, but he has to be feeling really energetic.  The other kids know to go easy on him.  I told him to speak up for himself more, and I think the kids will be responsive.  We'll have to see how it goes!

Thanks so much!

Regina

Kim Maddux said:

HI Regina --

 

This is a tough one and alot depends on the school, kids etc.  Alex is still very mobile but has never participated in the crazy recess sports and running play.  When he was younger, he would play on play structure and swings and that was good.  3rd grade was tough because he did not use scooter and kids didn't hang with him much. He was alone and isolated most of recess time.  His teacher implemented a "buddy system" that had pros/cons.  4th grade - he started riding his scooter at school full-time.  Because Alex is shy and reserved, he didn't really ask kids to hang or play with him....it was tough.  Plus kids are getting older and they don't swing as much etc., so Alex felt he would get made fun of if he still played and swung.  This year (5th grade) has been much better.  Alex has gotten assertive plus has some nice friends in his class.  He has started playing 4-square with the kids.  He just tells them to hit the ball gently to him and all is good.  Every now and then, a boy will hit it hard to him...but not often.  He play every day with same kids and they treat him really good.

 

The kids all know about Alex and don't make a big deal about it.  Unfortunately, they don't go out of their way to include him or slow down for him.  They will help get people out of his way on scooter etc.

 

Alex attends a small school and they have been really good to us.  It has been hard but this year is the best so far.  Next year, he goes to middle school.  I am scared to death...It's hard.

 

Good luck to you and your lttle guy :-)

 

Kim

Regina - Our son goes to a great school and has an IEP.  The physical therapist has addressed learning some games that he can do with others in the big toy area - the big toy is the play structure.  But, it is hard b/c he said one day that he was out at recess and all the kids were playing basketball and that's way too quick for him.  It is a good reminder that I need to be more proactive in thinking of alternatives for him.  I liked the idea of a play buddy.  What if he brought things to play with at recess like a nerf ball catch game with velcro mits or one of the balls that easy to catch....or even a bean bag toss game. Char Burke

Char-- that's a great suggestion about him bringing his own nerf equipment.  The talk at school went great, and Jordan has been happy and having fun at recess. I am sure that if I asked his teacher would allow him to have equipment stay at school.  I am hoping that it will get easier next year as the kids get older-- Jordan will get more assertive and the other kids will be able to understand better.  As it stands right now, we are going to coast into summer, and address the issue early in 4th grade.

Thanks for everything

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