ski school dropout

We live in a ski area and think G would have a blast with skiing.  We’ve been very careful to make sure he was interested and ready for it, in fact our friends thought we were crazy not to get him out on the snow last season.  But he was resistant to the idea of wearing a helmet and his expressive language hadn’t developed enough to tell a teacher if he was cold or hungry so we held off until almost the end of the season.  When we finally tried ski school, it was a disaster.  He loved the actual skiing but waiting in line for his turn sent him into meltdown mode and he would push the other kids down to get to the front of the line.  Which left a handful of 3 year olds stuck in their skis floundering on the snow.  So they asked us to come get him and we decided that was enough of a try for the year.

 This year G has been the one to ask about skiing.  His behavior has been much improved in school, his communication has really improved so he has the ability to talk to teachers, and he is really showing interest.  So last week, we decided to try it again and took him to ski school.  We stuck close to the ski class area all day, made sure they had our cell numbers, checked in frequently and were constantly reassured that he was doing great.  It was early enough in the season that there was only one other boy there, we’ll call him J, and there were two instructors so it was very personal attention.  G had a great day, was very cooperative and was very excited about hanging out with J.  Social skill development is very important for G right now so I got friendly with J’s mom and we both decided to bring the boys back the following Sunday for more skiing fun.

 However, today did not go very well.  I have no explanation for it either – he slept well and ate plenty before I dropped him off and he was excited to see J again.  Since last week went so well I relaxed my guard enough to return home so I could get some chores done.  Two hours later, I got the call.  Griff was uninterested in skiing, uncooperative, kept wandering away from the group to get away and they couldn’t entice him in for lunch.  I picked him up, brought him home and got him to eat a little before he became defiant with me and refused to eat.  I have him in his room now to see if he’ll nap.  I have no idea what went wrong for him today and I won’t be able to talk with him about it unless he sleeps and wakes in a better frame of mind.

I spoke with dh, who is working today, and he thinks we may need to look into the adaptive ski program for G if we want to continue with skiing.  Which I do – when G is into it he has a lot of fun and it is all the vestibular stimulation he could ask for.  And I think the program might be exactly what G needs because on days like today I am so sure he has some form of autism.  If we go this route, we’re not going to tell our friends about it.  Not because we’re ashamed but because I don’t want to deal with their response to it.  G differences are subtle enough that people often think we’re overreacting.  I feel like they think we are trying to seek a label for no good reason when really the exact opposite is true.  I can’t tell you how many times our well-intentioned friends tell us he’s just a boy (they have girls) or that he’s just stubborn or that he just does things in his own time.  It is so hard to explain to them that the problem is more than that.  Especially because I don’t have any concrete information to explain why it is more than that.  The wait-and-see approach is both frustrating and isolating.  It is also the best for G at this time, so I need to try harder to find acceptance.

Published in: on December 9, 2007 at 9:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

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