Mets, Tee Ball and Autism Updates

** It’s becoming clear to me that no matter how much I enjoy going to Shea Stadium to watch the Mets, I am apparently bad luck for them as they’ve lost the majority of times I’ve been in the stands. Sunday’s Subway Series finale was particularly painful to watch, not just for the loss, but because I was literally surrounded by Yankees fans. Most of them weren’t terribly obnoxious — if anything, Mets fans were worse, especially with the unnecessarily crude “Yankees suck!” chant. It’s long past time to get over the inferiority complex and act like we believe we belong on the same field, you know? — but I now understand what the handful of loyal Marlins fans must feel like whenever the Mets go down to Miami and are greeted with healthy cheers of “Let’s Go Mets!”

** Speaking of the Marlins, the Pee Wee version had their first mid-week practice yesterday, and more than half of the team showed up, which was nice to see. The 20-30 minutes of hurried practice we manage to squeeze in before the game every Saturday isn’t nearly enough for the individual attention many of them need at this point to progress to the next level. I gave them all progress report cards at last week’s game, rating them in the fundamentals along with some specific feedback on areas they need to focus on, and we worked with those who showed up at practice on some of those things. A few of the kids have awkward swings that needed tweaking, and it was great to have 5 minutes to work with each of them individually. Isaac has a weird hitch that comes from his skinny little arms, but we adjusted his stance, pulling his back foot further away from the plate, and it made a big difference. The most confounding was one of the two girls who has trouble putting all of the little steps involved in taking a clean swing together seamlessly, causing her to appear like she’s swinging in stop-motion animation, and she has a similar problem with throwing. It’s going to take a lot more practice to get her straightened out, but she’s a great fielder and has a great attitude about the game so I’m sure she’ll be ready for the next level with enough practice.

There’s no game this weekend, so we’ll have one more practice session next Wednesday, and then our final two games of the season over the next two Saturdays and we’ll be done.  I had no idea that I’d enjoy coaching them as much as I have, nor so willingly throw myself into the extras like the newsletter and report cards, or the baseball cards after every game, but I’ve been feeding off of their enthusiasm and the positive feedback I’ve heard from the parents and it’s been a blast.  I wish the season were longer so we could keep playing through the summer. 🙁

** In about 15 minutes, at 10:30am, India will be visited by someone from the ASD Nest program for observation in consideration of her being admitted for the fall. She cleared the first step, a review of her CSE records, which was probably the trickiest step since they removed the Autism classification, but the evaluations make it clear that she needs a more structured setting than General Ed or even the standard CTT setting can offer. I’m cautiously optimistic about the whole thing because she seems to perfectly fit the profile they’re looking for, plus she’s a girl, which is a relative rarity for ASD and I got the impression that that could work to her advantage.  Cross your fingers!

** The Walk NOW for Autism is next Sunday, and I’m at 91% of my upwards-adjusted fundraising goal of $1300. Another $120 and I’m all set.  If you haven’t yet, and you’re able, help me out.  If you have, thank you again!

** Did I nail American Idol or what? Jordin might end up surpassing Kelly as my favorite winner, and Blake just might end up being the most popular runnner-up yet. That duet with Doug E. Fresh was bananas!

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