A couple times a year, we will play miniature golf as a family. We do this whenever we go away for the weekend, and there is a place to play miniature golf. Every time we go, my husband tries to teach our autistic son how to play. He also plays. This would get a little frustrating for my husband, trying to play through for himself, and then helping both kids.
While on our camping trip at Carolina Beach State Park, we found a place to play miniature golf. My husband decided that he wasn’t going to play. Instead, he was just going to work with our son. Our daughter only needed a little help.
She is really funny when she plays. She is your typical seven year old, repeatedly hitting the ball, until she manages to get it in the whole. She did manage a couple of wholes with less than 5 strokes, and even managed a whole in one.
My son has always been a good observer. I think he finally put together all of the pieces needed to play. What he is supposed to do, how to do it, and why he has to do it. The first few wholes were spent with my husband standing behind our son, and helping him grip the golf club and swing.
Then, at one whole, my son was standing by where my ball stopped. He walked over to it, as if he was going to hit it. He looked at the ball, then looked at me. I told him to go ahead and hit it. He did. It was a little tap, but it was the biggest swing and longest put anyone has ever made. To me it was, anyways. It was an awesome breakthrough.
He has tapped the golf ball on his own before, but just one little tap and then walk away. This time, it was continuous, until the ball made it into the hole. And, he kept it up for the rest of the game. The only thing my husband had to do, is help him with the first hit of the ball at each area.
Golf did something that nothing else has ever done. It connected my autistic son to the family in a new way. He was no longer hovering around the sidelines, or being made to do something. He was an active participant. I am so glad that I ignored the fact that I was hot, tired, and sick. I almost missed out on being a part of this amazing breakthrough for my son. I’m glad I put my comfort and feelings aside in order to enjoy time with my family. I am also hopeful about my son’s future. I didn’t think he would ever get the hang of golf, or ever want to make an effort to play. He surprised me. I have hope that there will be many surprises from my son in the future.