Trampoline Class

I am always on the lookout for extracurricular things for our boys to do. So many of the sports or activities available are often too demanding for their abilities or just of little interest to them. We have dabbled a bit these past few years in programs offered to those with disabilities such as Miracle Youth Softball or Special Olympics but at times those types of programs feel a bit below the potential ability of my boys who seem to fall sort of in between the sports for their neurotypical peers and their friends with disabilities.

Well, my daughter has been taking tumbling classes for a while now through Gloria’s Tumbling in Bellefontaine, OH. She really likes the program and as she started practicing her gymnastics skills at home. Soon after, I noticed that Drew started trying to do the skills along with her. I was happy that he seemed interested but had some reservations about signing him up as the set up for Gloria’s program is different than a lot of the extracurriculars we are used to. She is very strict on the policy that parents are not allowed in the gym or viewing area during practice. They are dropped off at the door and you can either wait in the car until the class is finished or leave and come back and pick them up. For my daughter, this is not a problem, but of course, I was very nervous about having my son who is on the autism spectrum go in without me.

Drew’s social skills, although not quite even with his same age peers, are often still above those of his older brother Damion. He does a fairly good job verbally communicating his needs. He is also very good with routine-based programs, and I know that Gloria runs a very tight ship so, I decided to take a leap and reach out and see if he could join in at his sister’s same class time. I was hopeful that having her there would be a help if any issues arose. Of course, I also was as transparent with Gloria as I could be about his autism. Unfortunately, he wasn’t the correct age to join in on the tumbling class, but I was told there was a trampoline class that went on alongside my daughter’s same class time.

I was very nervous for the first session but was hopeful that as long as we got a good routine set then hopefully everything would work out and continue to be fine. I filled out the appropriate paperwork and reminded Gloria upon drop off of his diagnosis and told her that I would be waiting in the parking lot in case there were any issues. It appeared based on the size of the kids entering during that class time that the trampoline class was small (another plus).

At pickup, the instructor told me that Drew did great! I double checked with my daughter as well (since she was practicing alongside his class at the same time), and she confirmed that every time she saw him, he was doing very good! Because parents cannot watch classes for themselves, Gloria always text messages videos to parents of the kids during each class a day or two after. Everything she sent looked like Drew was having a blast. It didn’t appear that the class was overly demanding in skill level, but I still always take it as a win when my boys can participate in things like this with their peers.

Everything went so well that I took an even bigger leap and signed Damion up to start the following week. I followed the same strategy I had before with Drew and gave full transparency to Damion’s situation. And I am happy to report that everything went great for him too. The boys are now in their second month of trampoline classes and seem excited every week for their practice. I am not sure that the set up (being what it is) would work out for all of our friends on the spectrum (every child is different) but if your kids are like mine and do well with routine-based programs, then it might be worth giving it a try.

Click here for the link to Gloria’s Tumbling Facebook Page for more information.