I have two passions in my life: family and sports. I always figured that once I started my own family, sports would be a big part of it. I imagined teaching my kids all about the games and teams I loved and having them gravitate towards the same interest.
My son Ryan was two when he was diagnosed with PDD-NOS. Later evaluations would suggest Asperger’s and a healthy dose of ADHD. After the initial shock dissipated, I found myself wondering if I’d ever be able to share my passion for sports with my son. He struggled with poor coordination, low muscle tone and a difficulty focusing, which kind of makes it tough to watch a 3 1/2 hour football game. His early interests were more like fixations, usually on inanimate objects — toy cars, garage doors, spinning tops, etc. So it came as the most pleasant of surprises when he took an extreme interest in my most favorite of sports — hockey.
Hockey has been part of my life since I was four years old and was first taken by my dad to see a professional game. It gave me my first passion, the first thing I was good at, a way to fit in when I was a socially awkward, painfully shy, gawky teenager, an instant bond with total strangers at my college, and today, a career (no, not as a player — I wish!). And now this sport has given me the greatest gift of all: a way to bond with my son, and to share experiences that I didn’t always believe would be possible for us.
The sport of hockey has been intersecting my path at key moments and in key relationships my entire life. Today, it is one of the few activities my entire family can enjoy together.
I spend a lot of time online. I mean a lot. A good deal of it is work related, but I also read a ton. I have been inspired by incredible bloggers across a wide variety of subjects, but none more than those writing about sports, and about dealing with a child on the autism spectrum.
You’ll find here stories of my family’s experience with autism, and how a shared love of a sport has brought our family — Ryan, his younger sister Riley, my wife Veronica and myself — closer together during some very challenging times.
10 thoughts on “About”
Full Steam ahead! I waited to read the blog until today (Saturday) as the brief email said crying at work would happen if I didn’t wait. Great Bog Title and good family names. Can’t wait to talk with you guys.
I nominated your blog for a Liebster Award! Please check out my blog for details…. http://eatgfcf.wordpress.com
(Sorry, but I couldn’t find another way to contact you!)
Hi I also have an autistic son.He Loves hockey he also has ceberal palsey, He is playing sled hockey, He is a goalie for the Grand Rapids Sled Wings. This has helped him with his attention and being apart of a team skills. He is very good and talks about this all the time. Hockey has been a blessing for us as this has helped him.
So glad to hear that hockey has been a positive force in your son’s life. Thanks for visiting, I hope you’ll come back!
Would like to learn more.
Please feel free to contact me at anytime
Just stumbled across your site…I will be back!
As the parent of two, my daughter a junior in college studying Special Education and my son an incoming college freshman, I was touched by your stories. My family is a hockey family, introduced to the love of this game when my son began playing as a young child. It keeps us bonded even though we can not always be together! I will enjoy reading your enteries and following your site because I spend my school years working with High School Special Education Students and my summers working with Early Childhood Special Education Students. Thank you for sharing your perspective and experiences. It is honest and sincere.
A friend of mine recommended your blog to me and I am so glad to find it. I understand Ryan is a Caps fan. Do you have plans to be in DC any time soon? My friend is also a Caps fan and would love to give you a couple of tickets to a game.
I look forward to reading more of your blog. Fair warning though: we are Spartans in this house. 😉
Duly noted. I’ll try to use smaller words :).
I kid! I kid! Welcome and thanks for reading and commenting. At least we both hate Ohio State right?
Ha ha. Too true (the Ohio State part, not the smaller words bit). 😉