Well after much anticipation (remember we first heard about this in September) Austin finally started hockey in Ann Arbor. Today was week five, and honestly to say it's going well would be an overstatement. It's been a very rough and shaky start with many tears (mostly Austin's) and very minimal progress. Honestly after watching video from the first week and comparing to today I'd say he's actually regressed. I guess one positive is that he continues to go out there and he does not seem any worse for wear emotionally after it's over. God Bless his lovely coaches and the doctor who coordinated this because for many of the kids it's been wonderful and I'm still hopeful that Austin will find success with this.
I guess my biggest heart ache is I'd figured a special needs hockey team would put Austin on a level playing field and it's just not happening. He is the youngest one out there and there are some kids that are 5-6 years older than him. Many of the other kids are doing super and I'm so happy for them but Austin just can't skate. He is scared of falling and can barely move out there. I will say one positive is he can pass about as good as anyone. That is thanks to all those mini-stick games in our living room. He's got great accuracy. I just need to get him skating. Joe took him to Bay County Friday night for open skate and said he did well. Maybe he just doesn't perform well for me. Our next step is to try and get him out on the ice more locally and hopefully get him moving.
His PT does think it's helping his right foot strength which is another positive. He's seeing movement and flexibility in the foot now so that is another good thing. It's just hard when it looks like everyone else improving exponentially and Austin is still stuck at square one. We'll stick it out for the duration though which right now I don't know what the duration is so we'll just have to wait and see. Will keep you posted on the progress or lack thereof but hopefully soon we'll have a breakthrough.