My 5 year old son played kickball for the first time today, and it wasn’t pretty. Since our church offers weekly group activities for the homeschooling families, we decided to start bringing our son for “Fun Fridays” with gym and other activities. So we went for the first time today. The group played kickball, and it really brought back a lot of memories of what gym class was like for me as a child. At first I watched my confused little boy try to participate in the game. He can’t seem to keep his eyes on the ball so I could see I would have to be more hands-on and help him out. To kick the ball, Jamie waited for the ball to come to him and stop, then kicked it. But then he didn’t know to run. When he was told to run, he ran out past first base and kept going into right field. After some explanation, he knew to stop on the bases. But to keep his attention on the game so he would know when the ball had been kicked again and he could go to the next base, that again required hands-on intervention. Yelling at him to run was useless unless it was accompanied by a push in the right direction. He, like me as a child, seemed to have no idea what was going on. He found it confusing when the teams changed places also. At first he was placed in the far right field, but he sat down on the ground there. The next time his team was in the field we put him between the pitcher and third base. He never happened to be looking if the ball came to him, even with repeated admonitions to “watch the ball”. Then when he saw it he would kick it, even after repeated instruction to pick up the ball and throw it to a base. (I don’t suppose if he did manage to get the ball in time that he would know which base to throw it to.) When he did see and go after the ball he tried to wrestle with one of the boys on his team to get it. Needless to say, the other team scored big when that happened. It was a challenge for him to keep his eyes on the ball even when it was his turn to kick. It will be interesting to see what his appointment with the behavioral optometrist next month shows. I had a little talk with him later to discuss the object of the game for kickball. He hadn’t realized that he was trying to win for his team rather than winning individually. Not surprising. Of course this is one of the disadvantages of playing a game with a group of mixed ages, the younger ones that have not played before can drag down their team. I would have hoped that Jamie could have played better since I was standing right behind him to help him. But it seems that neither watching nor listening are his strengths. Strange as it seems, this same child is doing mostly first grade work academically. We will have to see how things go next week.
Playing Kickball with Sensory Integration Dysfunction