A haggy gym party

After the week from hell with all the kids home we ended up having a lovely Sunday. The HAGS (Happy Autism Group Support) try to do an activity or party about twice a year. Last year we went to the Knox gym which everybody enjoyed so this year we thought we’d go there again. We had a really good turnout with 19 kids altogether. Of course we all had kids on the spectrum but several of us had their siblings along too. It’s a nice way for all the kids to get together, all the siblings are used to their brother or sister being autistic so couldn’t give a stuff about the other autistic kids acting….. well acting autistic!

Andrew is the chap who coordinates it all and he does a fabulous job. First they have a game of musical hoops and all the kids went in a circle however he wanted them to. For example they may have to crawl like a bear or hop like a frog. There are no winners with the end result being lots of kids in a hoop together. Beth was most excited as one of the girls from choir – Kayla – came along. She lives quite a way from us so it was a treat to have her there. Tilly was also there who is a similar age to Beth and is also a friend from choir. It was nice to have some older girls come along as usually there are lots of boys and often they are about 8 or 9.

After the game there was a circuit for the kids to do. There’s a great big pit with squares of foam which they all jump into, then a huge trampoline which was easily the most popular thing in the room. At times it was hard to get some of the kids off as I’m sure you all know, bouncing is a favourite pastime of most of our kids. There were tunnels to climb through and ropes to swing on and the whole floor was padded in case of falls. They then did a circuit of balancing beams and hurdles, climbing frames and more pit jumping. We as parents were half exhausted just watching them, kids expend so much energy don’t they? They all had red faces but never stopped.

Andrew coordinated a game which I haven’t seen before. There were 2 sides of the room and the middle, I think the shore, the ship and in the middle the shark. He had to shout where to go and the kids had to run to that side or middle of the room.  Then they all had freeplay where they went wild. It’s great to go somewhere that is tolerant of autistic kids. Of course we were the only ones there which made a big difference, but the staff were terrific. It must be difficult trying to coordinate 19 kids, let alone half of them being autistic ones. Of course the parents were in there helping where needed. Amanda commented how much better the kids had got even from the year before. Many of them followed instructions and waited their turns which they had found difficult last time.

Everybody brought a plate to share and thankfully there wasn’t anything to make the kids too feral. Lots of chips and bikkies but nothing like twisties or heaps of chocolate. I’m not terribly strict with my kids diets but lots of our kids seems to have allergies and intolerances that go hand in hand with their autism. Nobody needs that extra help to make them hyper and most people seem to understand that.

The next hags event will be at the Belgrave Adventure Park that we went to with Amanda’s family a few months ago. Beth hated it so not sure what I’ll do there as it is meant for our kids on the spectrum. My other kids loved it so it can’t all be about what Beth wants. Lots of other kids are interested in going too and the guys who run it are more than happy for our motley crew to come for a visit. Beth has her swimming lesson now so I’d better go. Speak soon xxx

About Sarah

Mother of an autistic child wanting to write about my personal experiences
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