Kyle: Payton is going to be the best bocce ball player in the Special Olympics!
Me: No, she is going to be the prettiest cheerleader in the Special Olympics!
We continued on with our conversation, joking Kyle for picking such a random sport like bocce ball. This moment in time was so uplifting for us, because we realized that our daughter would be able to do things that "typical" children do ... play sports, cheerlead, whatever.
Fast forward over two years, Payton is now a Special Olympics Young Athlete. Historically, children were not allowed to participate in Special Olympics until they were eight years old. That was sort of disheartening for parents who had younger children ... were we just supposed to wait to get them involved until they were eight? Thus the Young Athlete program was born, specifically tailored for kids age two through seven.
We have been attending an hour long class every Sunday for the past few weeks. Essentially it is an organized play group for kids with special needs. They have obstacle courses for the kids to navigate, a parachute to play with, we sing songs and sign along with them (as best we can...LOL), etc. It has been really fun for Payton to have this time for herself with either Kyle or I tagging along.