Monday, October 12, 2009

Caleb the Gamer

Boy is Caleb ever a gamer. Since he was 2 years old and a family member introduced him to the magical world of Mario games, his life was dramatically changed. We bought a Game Cube back in the day and soon found that Caleb's obsessive nature was magnified when playing Mario Kart. The child could beat any of us, and he wasn't even three yet. So we set a time frame for him. Once he turned 5, he could have his own DS and could play video games. The time came, we got him a DS, and it has been his source of comfort, his incentive for positive behavior, and my life line to have a peaceful phone conversation with a friend.

The down side to this is that he is a "spectrum kid". The nature of Autism is that they escape into their own world and shun the opportunity to engage meaningfully with people. This DS has allowed him to do just that. I want to provide him the opportunity to escape into his favorite past time for brief periods of time, while at the same time providing him with opportunities to expand, interact, problem solve, etc.

We have put him in so many social situations from playgroups, therapies, art classes, Kids College. Each has had its positives and negatives. He has never been coordinated, nor has he shown any interest in any sport. Until now. He took Jansen's place in U6 soccer, thank goodness he made the age cutoff, amongst a small group of 3-6 year olds. It has been great because he lights up when he plays! He seems to be on the same emotional level as the kids that are just a year or two younger than him. This is giving him an outlet for his energy, a chance to socialize with other children, and an opportunity to boost his self esteem. AND he scored a goal in his very first game!!! I am just blissfully, tearfully, proud of this child!

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