The First Day of Ice Skating Lessons
by Katie McCall
My daughter is currently seven and I have just discovered SPD. Though she has not yet been diagnosed, I truly believe this is it... the "Aha!" of our searching. Her school has referred her because she is so distracted and the therapist on campus looked at me, puzzled, and said, "Well, I just don't get it. She's obviously NOT autistic, but there's something more there than ADD".
I myself grew up with so many of the signs of SPD that I wonder... though at my age I've learned numerous ways of coping, including things I just CAN'T and WON'T do.
Anyway... as we begin our journey, I just wanted to share one of MANY little Christiana stories from her earlier years...
I knew that my daughter loves to be in constant motion, and trying to get her involved in something that would enable her to develop some social interaction (she's never really been able to develop friends), I enrolled her in the local ice skating rink's toddler class. It was for 3 and 4 year olds and my daughter was nearly 5.
She was almost a head taller than all the other little kids. She wobbled out with all the little munchkins onto the ice as I stood on the sidelines (I've always been morbidly afraid of falling and ice skating is a definite NO for
As the class began, the teacher had all the kids do some balancing exercises. Christiana tried a few and then decided she'd had enough and began fearlessly attempting to ice skate away from the class. She actually did alright for a few paces but then fell hopelessly and dramatically. The instructor was forced to tear himself away from six other obedient little students to rescue my daughter.
I, of course, at this point, was standing on the sidelines on my tiptoes hollering "Christiana! Get UP!"
She heard none of it. She saw none of it. She responded with oblivion. Instead she was totally focusing on the ice shavings her skate had made in front of her.
As the instructor attempted to get her attention, she proceeded to lick at the ice shavings repeatedly... and with great fascination. This was a wonderful thing to experience apparently, ice shavings in the mouth. :)
It took both the instructor and another adult helper to get my daughter off the ice. She fitted all the way into my arms.
To my dismay, but understanding, the instructor requested that she not come back to class. "She's just not mature enough for a class yet. Bring her back next year when she's older, maybe?" Of course I never tried to explain that she was probably the oldest child IN the class.