Skip to main content

The "Not So Special" Special Olympics





Two days after the opening ceremonies, Logan, Sean and I attended the actual county-wide Special Olympics. It was our fifth year as spectators and we had set expectations: cheering for the athletes, sitting outside at the stadium, watching athletes race by in walkers and wheelchairs and catching up with people we only see once a year.

This year proved different. It seemed that Ben was participating in several events that involved throwing, pushing or hitting a ball. We were inside, isolated in a gymnasium with nine stations. Athletes went through the stations alone (no competition) and needed to complete each one to receive a gold medal. Right from the beginning, Ben knew this was not for him*. It was a struggle to get him to participate.

He was less than enthused about the activities and was not cooperating with the high school volunteers. At one point, Logan was frustrated and whispered to me that Ben could do the event if he (Logan) was the one helping. I am not sure anyone could have gotten Ben to do it - it took all of us to keep him from making a run for the exit.

At the end of the morning, none of us were happy with the events chosen for Ben. They did not fit for him and the worst of it was there was no crowd to cheer him on. Ben is all about the glory. Next year, I will know better and we will request he be a part of the track and field events again, where there is a crowd and excitement.

* I understand that for some athletes, this atmosphere and activities work well.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Catching up with Ben

  I wish I had more time to write on eSpeciallyBen . Ben teaches us lessons on a regular basis: Smile often, give hugs, sit down and savor the moment, grab someone's hand to let them know you care and laugh with abandon–even if it annoys your brother. Ben will be 18 this summer. He attends high school in-person and enjoys seeing his classmates and teachers each day. In the photo above, it's 6 a.m. and he's can't wait to get on the bus. As for most people, the pandemic has been tough. Ben's in-person activities, camps and programs were canceled. He's happy to see grandma when we met on a Charlotte greenway or park. Ben seeks out social interactions and being quarantined away from friends and family was even more difficult because he didn't understand why. Ben's teacher sends me photos of him throughout the week. They just finished a rousing game of catch here.  Thank you for following eSpeciallyBen. If you want to see what I'm working on now, find me

A Lesson on Supplemental Security Income

In October, I received a letter from Social Security Administration saying that Ben no longer qualified for SSI AND we owed a very large over payment for two years of SSI that Ben did receive. The letter showed that we owned two of the same car. I knew this was wrong and immediately wrote a letter. I thought it was a computer glitch. Over the past five months, I have met with Social Security, spoke with several people over the phone and wrote countless letters providing documentation to show the cars we actually owned and filed appeals for the decision to revoke Ben's SSI during the two year period they think we owned these two cars. Tomorrow I have another meeting. I am hoping we can get this straightened out. This situation has caused a lot of stress for us and has taken a tremendous amount of our time trying to unravel the problem. I have not written a post in almost a month, partially because my brain power has been consumed with this issue and the bathroom saga (qualifies

Parenting an Adult Child with Disabilities: Talking About the Future

Ben in the middle with Dad (left), Carla Payne with Aging Care Matters and Mom This is the first of several posts about parenting an adult child with a disability. Ben will be 19 this summer; I am learning along the way. As always, I hope to pass on resources and wisdom. Discuss the future.  If your adult child is able to participate in planning for their future, ask them how they envision it. Let them draw a picture. Ask them to tell you a story. Maybe they can sign a few words that mean a lot to them. Find a way to get them involved. How do they see themselves living? By themselves, in a group home, with another family or with a sibling? Where do they want to live? In another city, in an apartment, in a house? How far away do they want to live from family? What level of independence can they handle? Do they want someone to check in on them? Do they want to find a job? Do they need a job coach or supportive employment? Who will help them with their finances? Is there someone they tru