Monday, October 7, 2013

Full Weekend: Old and New Activities

Our weekends got even busier than they had been as new activities started up this weekend.

Kai attended his first special needs ice skating class of the season. He seemed happy to be back on the ice and looked like he did not forget how to skate over the summer.

On Saturdays, we also have his special needs soccer game. This week, it started to rain lightly just as we got to the field. It was peculiar when he wasn’t bothered at all by the heavy rain last weekend when we were in our tent, but just this little light rain on Saturday was enough to get him upset and he kept pestering us that he wanted to go home.

He refused to go on the field and practice before the game would start. And then he really got angry when we had to clear off the field and go under the shelter when it started thundering. The plan was to wait it out a few minutes to see if the rain would let up. But even under the safety of the shelter, Kai kept complaining and repeatedly said he wanted to go home. Finally, it the game was called, Dad had to walk over to the faraway parking lot to get the car, and drove home.

The highlight of our Saturday, though, was a new activity that we had Kai try for the first time, a boxing class for children with special needs.

We had heard about Jordan’s Corner through word of mouth. It sounded like the perfect activity for Kai. It would provide exercise, which we’d like him to get more of, and perhaps it would give him an opportunity to release some of his aggression.

The class is a fast-paced mix of exercise and boxing.

Here you see Kai getting instruction on punching. I think the big smile on his face says it all.

Toward the end of the class, each child gets a turn to spar with the teacher. As this was Kai’s first session, he was a bit tentative compared with some of the kids who had been there before. Still, you can see that he enjoyed it.

I think this will be an activity he looks forward to every week.

After the rain on Saturday, we welcomed the nice sunny day on Sunday. We went back to the Skokie Lagoons to canoe and see a different part than we saw a couple weeks ago.

And then, afterward, we worked on Kai’s biking.

I had tried to loosen up his hand brakes to make them easier for his little hands to grip and squeeze. But I wasn’t successful, so we took his bike over to a local bike shop and they were able to do the job.

I wanted to go right on the bike trail near where we went canoeing, but my wife suggested that he practice at our school parking lot first. This time, I took her suggestion right away.

He did several laps around the parking lot, and then I had him slow down and squeeze the brake. He was able to do it and the bike stopped.

The only issue was that he did not stand up off of his seat, so that when he comes to a stop he does not feel comfortable as his feet can hardly touch the ground as he is still sitting on his seat.

I repeatedly tried to get him to practice lifting up off his seat, keep his left foot on the peddle while lowering his right foot forward to the ground as he stopped. It is always an eye opener for me when something that seems easy proves difficult with Kai. I try to break the instructions down into simple steps, but he still struggles.

My wife later suggested that we practice this while I hold the bike, as Kai may be more relaxed to try it on a stationary bike than one that is moving.

All in all, though, I was happy that he went back on the bike. After last weekend’s trauma, even that small step is good progress.

Hope you had a nice weekend, too.


  1. Sounds like a nice weekend...lots of activities. Glad the boxing class is going to be so fun for him, too!

    1. I think he was a little nervous about the boxing class before he went, but now he is looking forward to going again.

  2. Boxing is an excellent sport which will teach Kai so many lessons in life. What a great looking gym. Your family had a full weekend indeed! So much was accomplished. Great article!

    1. We were excited to learn about the boxing class, and now very pleased that it was as good as we heard. It's a nice gym, but it is the volunteer instructors who really make the class so wonderful. That it is a free class is an added bonus!


  3. WOW Yuji - what an awesome job you guys are doing with constantly exposing kai to new and fun things

    1. Thanks, K. I think it's important to expose any child to new experiences, and for a kid like Kai, I believe it really helps him overcome his anxiety about new and unfamiliar things.


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