Friday, September 23, 2011

Breaking Board

My friend Jen recently had this awesome post featured on BlogHer in which she wrestles with whether to go with "typical" or "special needs" dance classes for her daughter.

My rule of thumb has been to go with typical settings as much as possible when it comes to camps or more social extracurricular activities.  But when it comes to anything athletically-oriented, it's very difficult for Audrey to keep up.

Back in January, we tried a regular martial arts class but it just moved along way too fast, and Audrey needed a lot of one-on-one support that they weren't really equipped to give her.  Then I discovered that the local Easter Seals where Audrey was doing OT offered a martial arts class, so we gave that a try and it's been so much better for her.

Even at Easter Seals, well I don't want to use the word "worst", but let's just say that she's the most challenged kid in class.  But she gets tremendous support, and the class is just right for her.  She has kids with some pretty kick-ass motor skills to model, and even though it's all pretty difficult for her she tries really hard and seems to love it.

At the end of the summer session, they had the parents come in to watch them break boards.  Since the force behind Audrey's movements is akin to a light breeze, I had no faith that she would be able to do it.

First, here is how it's supposed to be done...

And here is Audrey...

OK, that board must have been made out of saltines for it to have broken.  This is a perfect example of the motor planning stuff that she finds so hard.  She just couldn't get that choombee and eye-yah together with her kumbaya and her foie gras.  Or whatever the hell.

But she did it!  So what have we learned?  That I should have more faith in my child's abilities?  That you don't have to be great at something to still enjoy it and get something out of it?  Yes, all of that...and also that when I think I'm not at all giggling when I take videos like this, somehow I actually am.


  1. AAWWW!!!!!!!!!! Way to go Audrey!!!How exciting for her. And for YOU! Awesome stuff.

  2. yay Audrey! She's definitely a force to be reckoned with! :)

  3. Go Audrey! I'm impressed. : )

  4. This is key...if they like it and have fun, then who cares about anything else! And Audrey was so cute doing it! I still love the cuteness factor, even though our kids are almost 8...ha.

    This is like K with the Irish Step. OMG...the kid was definitely the least coordinated, and couldn't figure out how to stand on her toes and hop at the same time, but she liked it. Sure, if she makes it to recital she'll be doing her own version of Riverdance, a la "the injured albatross" but as long as my girl is happy, I don't care if she looks more spastic than Irish ; )

  5. hahaha. . . i'm so ridiculous I teared up a little.

    It's hard to see Audrey's little videos and not substitute Lily into them in my brain. . . Like some sort of strange actor/stunt double arrangement. I'm having a difficult time coming up with a way to make that metaphor work, but trust me, someone smarter than I am knows EXACTLY what I mean.

  6. I love this! So great! I wish we had a special needs martial arts class here. My son would love it. He has major motor planning issues too, but I think this would be good for him...

  7. Awesome. Can't wait to also see some of the other moves she might learn like "wax on, wax off" and "sweep the leg!"

  8. My son goes to a martial arts class and the instructor is great. Say its about the "will and intent" not the actions. And he holds the board tight on either end so when he hits it, it snaps in two faster than you can say AYE YA!!

  9. We've failed at any attempt at group anything with Deaf kid.

    Private swim lessons are kick ass though...

    I ALWAYS giggle while taking video of my goofy kids.

  10. She is SUCH a dolly! And she did it- Yay!

    (Her movement right at the beginning where she kind of turns away from the instructor - that reminds me so much of my son - he does that same exact same thing.)

  11. love it. choombee and eye yah ARE really hard!

  12. Yay! I hope we'll find something like this someday. Moe doesn't have words, but he has a mean grunt, that might just do the trick for breaking boards.