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View Full Version : My Son's first swim meet- *Warning: Parental Bias*


Mosbonian
04-30-2005, 09:32 PM
As most of you who are regulars know, my son has been diagnosed with Asperger's Autism, which is what is considered a "high-functioning" form of Autism. Still, it has been a bit of a struggle helping him to find a sport he likes and can do with some sort of capability that keeps him from getting discouraged or made fun of by the other kids. One thing he has always been able to do naturally is swimming, so we have encouraged that as much as possible.

Well, earlier this year my wife was told of a swim club/class begin held here in Columbia at MU for kids who are physically or mentally challenged that trains them for Special Olympics competition. We enrolled Jacob with the thought of putting him in the Beginner's class to have trained correctly, but were informed that his skill level (even though he never received any formal training) was more on the Advanced level. So he has been training with kids 3 or more years older than him who have been in competition for several years. (A couple actually swim on one of the local high school swim teams).

Today was the Sectional's qualifying meet held at Bridger Junior High in Independence. Any of the kids who medal qualify for the State Special Olympics which will be held here in Columbia. The goal for my wife and I was just to let him compete and learn from the experience. Little did we know....or believe...especially since his I, his father, only managed to medal in the Boat Anchor Division.

He was scheduled to swim in 3 different races....the 50 Meter backstroke, the 50 meter Freestyle, and the 4x25 Mixed Relay. I got there about a half hour before he was supposed to swim, and when i arrived I was as nervous as anyone, while my son was as calm as could be.

con't....

Dartgod
04-30-2005, 09:38 PM
Wellll? We're waiting.....

milkman
04-30-2005, 09:41 PM
Tick,tick tick, tick.

Well?

Count Alex's Losses
04-30-2005, 09:42 PM
I think mmaddog drowned.

Rain Man
04-30-2005, 09:43 PM
His wife must've just told him that it's not really his kid.

Sure-Oz
04-30-2005, 09:46 PM
*warning incomplete thread....* :p

Mosbonian
04-30-2005, 09:48 PM
The time for his first event, and what he claims is his worst, came...the 50 meter backstroke. He was in the pool with the boys in his Class/Division along with some boys in other Class/Divisions. (They combined some of the events by classes so that they could speed up the Swim Meet and utilize all the swim lanes.) They starter buzzer went off and off they went. Jacob got a slow start, but after getting comfortable in the water he started to get a rhythm and was making some good progress. by the start of the second lap, not only was he leading his class he was close behind the two leaders of the next class/division up. When the race was over Jacob had WON the Gold Medal in his Class and almost caught the older boys. I was absolutely ecstatic!!!!!! I think my wife and I were more enthused than he was....

His next event was his best....the 50 Meter Freestyle, and he showed it. Once again they combined all the classes/divisions into one race, (even though each class/division awarded separate medals) and absolutely smoked them all !!! He beat everyone else by 2 strokes and won his class/division by half the length of the pool. I couldn't believe it...all i wanted him to do was compete, and give it his all, and he had won Gold Medals in both events.

His last event, the 4x25 Mixed Relay Freestyle pitted him with swimmers in his club ( all ages) against other teams made up the same mix. He swam the first leg and took a commanding lead that his team never relinquished. In fact, their team finished all 4 legs of their swim before all but one other team were just finishing with their 3rd leg.

Talk about a stoked and proud Papa...I must admit I had a couple of tears in my eyes, when he was doing so well. It's always good to see you children succeed in something after they have struggled in finding what they love. I have been on an all day high....and i have never seen my son so proud of doing something as I saw him today. And even better...he seems to have made a couple of friends on the swim team, which is a milestone because he is normally a loner.

con't

Rain Man
04-30-2005, 09:52 PM
Congrats, mmaddog. It's great that your son has found an area of talent.

(This is starting to make me feel guilty for never doing a single thing that made my dad proud.)

milkman
04-30-2005, 09:54 PM
Geez, so he won some Gold Medals.
Big frikken deal. :rolleyes:







J/K. That's outstanding.
Congrats to son and proud papa.

But wait (for how long), there's more.

chiefs4me
04-30-2005, 10:00 PM
Where's the rest of the story....of course I don't know how it could be better then his gold medals......

Congratulations little dog..;)





PBJPBJ

Mosbonian
04-30-2005, 10:02 PM
Now it is on to the State....we have three weeks to prepare and i am not sure I can stand it.

All I ever wanted for BigDog, (his nickname...a play on my mmaddog name) was for him to compete....to experience what it is like to go up against your fellow man, win or lose, and do you best. I have been telling him I would be proud of him no matter what he did today, that in my eyes, he was already a winner by competing. But he did more than I could have hoped for, and I can't quit talking about it.

And more than that, today I came to have a whole new level of respect to the Special Olympics, and the Special Olympians who compete. To watch these special persons as they compete, giving it their all doing something we take for granted, and seeing the joy they have in just finishing, makes me humbled. I watched as one lone young lady swam the 200 meter freestyle all by herself in the pool...oblivious to the fact that she was all alone...and quite frankly she was pretty damn good!!! I know I would have been gasping for air after the first 25 meters and she swam it as if it was no struggle. After that I saw another Special Olympian swim the 100 meter backstroke all by himself.....and do it as if there was little effort in it.

I took a lot away from my first experience as a parent of a Special Olympian....I must admit, as I said, to being completely humbled by the experience......

mmaddog
*******

cdcox
04-30-2005, 10:04 PM
Congratulations! Enjoy your son's triumphs!

cheeeefs
04-30-2005, 10:08 PM
that's great Madd

I have a really good friend with Asperger's and although he has had some hurdles to face to be sure, he has been able to utilize it as a tool as well. From the way he explains it to me is; although he can not focus well on several things at the same time, he is capable of giving great focus to one thing without becoming bored or distracted. He used that to become the a 3 time state quiz bowl champ and also a national geography bee champion (you name any river, lake, creek, or fly on a horses ass in the world, he can tell you exactly where the hell its at and a ton of other facts about it to boot) which MORE than paid his way through one of the most expensive private schools in the country. Asperger's is a wierd thing, it takes away with one hand and gives with the other. He wasn't a "normal" kid living a "normal" life, but I think if he had the choice to go back and live his life with or without Asperger's, he would choose with. That's just one case though, but given the sounds of it your son will turn out to have a life that has some very great highs in it. Glad today was one of them!

Mosbonian
04-30-2005, 10:20 PM
that's great Madd

I have a really good friend with Asperger's and although he has had some hurdles to face to be sure, he has been able to utilize it as a tool as well. From the way he explains it to me is; although he can not focus well on several things at the same time, he is capable of giving great focus to one thing without becoming bored or distracted. He used that to become the a 3 time state quiz bowl champ and also a national geography bee champion (you name any river, lake, creek, or fly on a horses ass in the world, he can tell you exactly where the hell its at and a ton of other facts about it to boot) which MORE than paid his way through one of the most expensive private schools in the country. Asperger's is a wierd thing, it takes away with one hand and gives with the other. He wasn't a "normal" kid living a "normal" life, but I think if he had the choice to go back and live his life with or without Asperger's, he would choose with. That's just one case though, but given the sounds of it your son will turn out to have a life that has some very great highs in it. Glad today was one of them!

Thanks cheeeefs.....

Your description fits my son to a "t".....he can tell you most anything you want to know about dinosaurs, marine mammals, Civil War battleships, or anything Star Wars/Lord of the Rings. I am hoping that his love for marine mammals will get him a scholarship to Coastal Carolina, where they have a program for that.

mmaddog
*******

Phobia
04-30-2005, 10:24 PM
I wonder if the kid with no arms was pissed?

Congrats Maddog, I know the feeling.

Logical
04-30-2005, 10:30 PM
First congratulations!!!

Then thank you for the wonderful story. I am sure no matter the future your son will remember this for the rest of his life and also how proud you were.

cheeeefs
04-30-2005, 10:44 PM
Thanks cheeeefs.....

Your description fits my son to a "t".....he can tell you most anything you want to know about dinosaurs, marine mammals, Civil War battleships, or anything Star Wars/Lord of the Rings. I am hoping that his love for marine mammals will get him a scholarship to Coastal Carolina, where they have a program for that.

mmaddog
*******

I suggest that you do some research and I bet you there will be programs out there that will allow his talents in marine biology to become recognized, and that's the first (and usually only step) out there to getting scholarships. I've done some quick look arounds and have earmarked some sites that you could check out, I'm not sure what is applicable... if anything, but I'm hoping it can open your eyes to the types of things that are out there. I think that looking at the application forms, and getting in touch with the people who know what is looked at and knowing those things now, can help you make sure that he does everything that he needs to instead of trying to apply later and finding out "If only" he had done this or that a few years ago...

I know it would have been nice for me to know a few of these things going into highschool.

heh I have no idea how old your son is, it may be way to early to worry about this stuff, but if he's in or near highschool age it doesn't hurt to spend a few hours empowering yourself with this kind of stuff.

Best of luck, I'm sure everything will turn out great.

http://www.collegeboard.com/article/0,,6-30-0-23619,00.html

http://www.coastal.edu/financialaid/

http://www.flseagrant.org/students/real_deal/private.htm

patteeu
04-30-2005, 11:06 PM
Congrats, mmaddog. It's great that your son has found an area of talent.

(This is starting to make me feel guilty for never doing a single thing that made my dad proud.)

Your dad wasn't big on internet polls, huh? ;)

patteeu
04-30-2005, 11:09 PM
Heartwarming story, mmaddog. Thanks for sharing. It's great to hear that your boy had a positive experience. :thumb:

redsurfer11
04-30-2005, 11:35 PM
Congrats MMAddog, now you can bring him to the east coast to learn boogy-boarding in the surf. My wife and kids spend every spare minute down at the beach all summer. Swimming is one thing, owning the waves is another.

Ultra Peanut
05-01-2005, 12:11 AM
And so he kept fighting his way up the ranks of the swimming world and kept winning and the costs got higher and you all sold your stuff and struggled to make it and he kept doing well and then he was on the boat to the Olympics and fell head-first onto the deck of the ship from a balcony and got up and was fine and he said, "I told you. I'm used to hard ships."

Mosbonian
05-01-2005, 09:51 AM
I suggest that you do some research and I bet you there will be programs out there that will allow his talents in marine biology to become recognized, and that's the first (and usually only step) out there to getting scholarships. I've done some quick look arounds and have earmarked some sites that you could check out, I'm not sure what is applicable... if anything, but I'm hoping it can open your eyes to the types of things that are out there. I think that looking at the application forms, and getting in touch with the people who know what is looked at and knowing those things now, can help you make sure that he does everything that he needs to instead of trying to apply later and finding out "If only" he had done this or that a few years ago...

I know it would have been nice for me to know a few of these things going into highschool.

heh I have no idea how old your son is, it may be way to early to worry about this stuff, but if he's in or near highschool age it doesn't hurt to spend a few hours empowering yourself with this kind of stuff.

Best of luck, I'm sure everything will turn out great.

http://www.collegeboard.com/article/0Hello - commatard on the loose.6-30-0-23619,00.html

http://www.coastal.edu/financialaid/

http://www.flseagrant.org/students/real_deal/private.htm

Thanks for the links...we have done a lot of work in preparing him for the eventuality of college. That's why we homeschool him, because the school system here is not able to provide the resources necessary to prepare him.

Our biggest issue was getting him correctly diagnosed.....we had a Pediatrician that just steadfastly refused to go along with the diagnosis of the Specialists for such a long time. He was great as a Family pediatrician, but he was too 'old-school'. We had to move here to Missouri, and get him re-diagnosed and get the new Pediatrician to affirm with the Specialist. What should have been diagnosed at age 7 didn't get resolved until he was 11.

But all that is behind us.....and the big steps like these are just another in helping him adjust to his world around him.

mmaddog
*******

Mosbonian
05-01-2005, 09:54 AM
And so he kept fighting his way up the ranks of the swimming world and kept winning and the costs got higher and you all sold your stuff and struggled to make it and he kept doing well and then he was on the boat to the Olympics and fell head-first onto the deck of the ship from a balcony and got up and was fine and he said, "I told you. I'm used to hard ships."

Now that was funny.......took me a couple of times to get it, but i finally did. ROFL

mmaddog
*******

Bob Dole
05-01-2005, 10:51 AM
Very cool story. Thanks for sharing it.

KCWolfman
05-01-2005, 10:54 AM
Nice MMarkdog.

Glad to here and good luck at state.

RedNFeisty
05-01-2005, 02:56 PM
Congrats to BigDog!! :clap:


Thank you for sharing!! You should be a very proud Papa!!

Valiant
05-01-2005, 06:06 PM
I wonder if the kid with no arms was pissed?

Congrats Maddog, I know the feeling.

http://www.collegehumor.com/?movie_id=140349

DanT
05-01-2005, 06:43 PM
Great story, mmaddog! Congratulations to your son and the other athletes!

Phobia
05-01-2005, 06:44 PM
http://www.collegehumor.com/?movie_id=140349

Holy crap. Was that the ultimate setup or what? Johnny Morton could learn something from that kid, huh?