Ben's nickname of "Benergy" was given to him by a wonderful high school teacher named Mr. Manero. It absolutely encompasses how Ben lives his life. People often ask me:
"Is he always this energetic?"
To which I reply
"Ben is like this or he is asleep. There is no in between!"
Ben is always moving, even when he is having a normal conversation, he tends to pace and keep his body moving along with his mind. It is no wonder then, that when he sleeps, he sleeps well!
Even though Ben is filled with "Benergy", he is considered low tone. This means that his muscles require more effort to get moving properly when they are doing an activity. This contributes to the control, speed and amount of movement he can achieve. He is a die hard Philadelphia sports fan but did not find great success in participating in sports himself.
We started with a baseball league where "everyone hits" and there was never a score kept. It was great to get him moving and learning some skills.
As much as he loved batting and running the bases, his favorite thing was to climb on the tables!
Next up, soccer. Not a good fit. Ben spent most of his time rolling in the grass!
Finally, Ben found a love for basketball and Special Olympics was just the right fit. He loved the drills and the 5 on 5 and this mom loved talking to the other moms, learning so much from those ahead of us on the journey. It was the place where I first heard the words "Support Coordinator". I remember saying:
"What is a supports coordinator and how do I get one!?"
If anyone reading this has that same question, a supports coordinator makes and handles referral and helps individuals get services identified in their Individual Support Plan. Here are links to where you can get started in the process:
Being involved in these sport organization brought so many benefits to Ben's life. Exercise, learning to wait your turn, learning the rules of the games just to name a few but mostly a sense of belonging and friendship.
So get out there, get active and spread some Benergy!
Love you more,