I’m so excited to finally be participating in the Tell Me Something Good linkup with Chelsea!
This story was shared with me by my sister. We are both involved every Sunday from January to March in a program that helps children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities how to ski, called Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing(CADS). I’ve been a part of the program off and on(but mostly on!) since 2001 along with my family.
*names have been changed
Jenny’s son Liam has Autism. When Jenny signed Liam up for the program in the fall I’m sure she had LOTS of apprehensions. There are a lot of new things involved with skiing. The chairlift, skis or a sit-ski, new instructors to meet. It’s a lot to take in for a neurotypical child but probably more so for someone who has Autism. She took him up the chairlift so that he would know what to expect – let’s just say it didn’t end well. He screamed and screamed until he was off the chairlift.
Fast forward to January. It was Liam’s first day of skiing. He met his instructors and was in a good mood. All good signs but Jenny was still apprehensive after the chairlift incident in the fall. She watched him go up the chairlift and could see in the distance he was pointing and gesturing and got worried. The instructors took him down the hill and Jenny asked the instructors, ” How did he do? I could see him gesturing.” The instructors told Jenny that he did great! He was gesturing to show the instructors all the skiers on the hill, the trees and the other volunteers he noticed. When Jenny heard that from the instructors she burst into tears! She was SO afraid he would hate skiing but he LOVED it.
This isn’t the first time we’ve had a mom in tears. Skiing is 100% adaptable to any disability. Truly the entire family can participate in skiing.