Blog Entry #2: July 30, 2014
In the past few weeks all of the students have seemed to love playing foosball, and it is truly amazing to watch them play. For all young children, taking turns, accepting loss, and balancing competition and sportsmanship are tough skills to learn. Games involving these types of social skills can often lead to frustration, which can be a particularly hard emotion to handle for children with autism. As a result I have been delighted to watch the kids work together and cheer each other on in various weekly games of foosball.
Although it is not in the schedule of the program, there is a foosball table in the back room of the center. During snack time and other various breaks, foosball has become the perfect activity. When more than two students want to play, I have seen them happily rotate between spectator and player, or team up with two, sometimes three kids on either side of the table to work together and play the game.
Monday morning, one of the kids was starting to get stressed out and as he started to walk around the room, he spotted the table. “What is this?” he asked, “Can we play?” Within minutes he had a smile lighting up his face as he jumped up and down celebrating a goal. When one of his friends came over to join, they played against each other in a competitive but friendly game. Volunteers were cheering them on, and both boys cheered each time a goal was scored, no matter which goal the ball bounced into.
Foosball has always been a fun game, but watching the kids play is truly impressive. Not only can they kick the ball so quickly it’s hard to keep track, but they love the game and continue to play with sportsmanship, excitement, and smiles.