I don’t know how your summer was, but mine was filled with highs and lows - 20% high and 80% low – mostly because I wanted my son to try new things when his recreation of choice comprised of some electronic gadget or imaginary games with action figures more suited for a five year old. Nothing wrong with that, except he just turned twelve, would be quite content doing that all day, probably for the foreseeable rest of his life. Because Jack gets “stuck” with an activity, and has a very limited range of interest due to a plethora of reasons, which can be the subject of some other lengthy discussions with medical experts.
He was eight before he went to the movies because the darkness and noise terrified him; at nine, he sat pale faced, trembling and crying inconsolably outside the Laser-tag arena at a friend’s birthday party, and only rode the roller coaster at at the ripe old age of ten at Disneyland.
Imagine then a summer of enrichment camps after a two week vacation in Thailand and Singapore, battling 100% humidity and 95 degree heat. After much protest in every nasty, ugly manifestation he’s capable of, he finally completed back-to-back week long camps in violin, lacrosse, tennis/golf and surf.
Life would be the more peaceful for me if Jack was not pushed out of his comfort zone, cocooned in his safe, predictable world. But how else would he know to enjoy what he never knew he could do because his mind is trapped in a web of fear and anxiety. He learned new techniques in violin, caught a few waves at Del Mar beach, survived over 100 degree heat running in full lacrosse gear and won couple of tennis games. For a kid who would rather climb 14 flights of stairs than ride the elevator, who equates beaches with tsunamis, we think he’s done quite well.
So, don’t give up on your child. Work with them in spite of their tears, anger, and fears. You might be surprised how much they are capable of. Only you can open their world for them, however long it may take because shutting in is not an option.