Hit and Stick It

Curling, October 2016I… think it’s actually been a while since I last talked about the Monster and curling.  Whoa.

Quick recap – for those who haven’t been around for a while, I curl semi-competitively myself.  R and the Monster have been curling in our local club’s Middle Rockers program for the better part of two seasons now, and the Monster is the only child with a developmental disability that is in the program.  This has us running into interesting issues now and again, due to the Monster’s deficits, but… when you go from a place of ‘assume competence’ and ‘adapt where you can’…

So the major issue we have is that the Monster has serious motor planning deficits on top of communication deficits.  The two together make it almost impossible to explain to him how he should be moving when he’s trying to do a standard delivery – even with a good, slow example given several times – but, as said, you adapt.  Since I last wrote, the Monster’s gotten seriously good at using a delivery stick, and we’ve moved from having to have someone walking alongside him to being able to give him verbal cues for the delivery process.

Yesterday, we decided to see how much he could do himself, so he can be better integrated into regular play.  (Yes, yes.  I think that at the level he’s playing, recreationally in our own club, no one’s going to really mind if he has a coach to guide him.  But the goal should be integrating him into regular play, especially since he’d normally age out of Middle Rockers after next year, and move into the regular Juniors program, not that anyone’s going to force him to do that yet.)  We’ve been working on the process, sans social story – I need to have time to take photos and build that with him – and he’s very good at learning those kinds of things, but we’d not tested the whole process of his delivering a stone all by himself with minimal cuing. And…

He’s actually learned his cues very well.  He got into the hack and set up all on his own, nudging the stone (a smaller middle-rocker stone instead of one of the full-size ones he’s been throwing lately) into position with his foot.  He needed a verbal reminder to aim at the broom in the house, but once that was done, he happily walked straight at the broom and gave it a good, clean release, and actually came close to where his skip had been calling.  (Yes, I also know weight is hard to learn with a stick, and we’ve not worked on that much at all with any of the younger kids yet, concentrating instead on line of delivery and slide mechanics.) And he didn’t do this just once, but several times over the course of the afternoon, so it’s clear that it’s starting to stick in his head.

Now, if I could just get him or his brother to actually sweep properly…

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