Autism at the Hockey


I love ice-hockey.

I have my Dad to thank for this as he was a massive fan in the sports heyday in this country in the 1950’s and 60’s.        I therefore grew up hearing stories of the game and the players.      He had a box with all his old programmes in and I would spend hours reading them.

Then in 1988, the game came to Basingstoke.   Dad was really keen to go, and him and Mum would regularly trot off to see the Basingstoke Beavers strut their stuff.    I wanted to go, but shift patterns didn’t allow for a while.

Then after my first game, my Dad asked if I had enjoyed it.   I did they fatal error of saying, I had but I didn’t really understand the rules so was confused.       My Dad being my Dad went straight to the library to get a book out explaining the rules.   I read it avidly and by the next home game, I had a better understanding of the play, and that was me hooked.

The team morphed into the Bison in 1995, as the previous name was thought had rude cogitations!        There was quite an out cry amounts the fans, but we still bought our season tickets, and it took some time before we were shouting the correct name for our team!

Then I moved to Aberdeen and my love of the game was put on ice – sorry bad pun but it had to be said!      I’m not one for televised sport as I’ve talked about before, so even though Hubby watches the NHL I don’t enjoy it the same.

On our honeymoon, we went to Toronto, and went to see the Maple Leafs.    It was a promise Hubby had made to me when we first met that we would go and see a game in Toronto!

I never heard of games in Aberdeen other than at junior level, and wasn’t prepared to travel to Dundee for games, so that was the end of hockey.

That was until a few weeks ago when I heard an advert on the radio for the Aberdeen Lynx – . I was very excited! I looked up their fixture schedule straight away! There was a home game that weekend, but as it turned out, D was poorly so we didn’t go.

The next home fixture was for yesterday. It was perfect timing, we could in cooperate it as a birthday treat for Old Person as her birthday is Monday. We didn’t tell the boys more than having a birthday tea for their GaGa. That was until the morning.

I had washed the old hockey shirts, and I asked D to try one on. It was of course huge on him, but it was a beautiful thing to see, as it was my Dads old shirt.


He asked why I was making him try it on and that’s when I told him where we were going. He was very excited and ran straight to tell M. I was expecting M to be a little harder to convince it was a good idea. Instead he came running to me and kept questioning if we were really going. It then moved onto that he couldn’t believe we were going. This continued until it was time to go out.

We went to Pizza Hut for tea first, which is always a big thing for the boys. They love it, and to be honest so do we!

It was then a short walk to the ice-rink, but it took a while with Old person whose hips are playing her up at the moment.

M couldn’t wait to get in there, and was excitedly rushing us along.

We went in and got our seats.    M then realised why I had made him wear two very thick fleeces as he commented on how cold it was!!        D was bouncing around, not sure what he should be looking at first!         The teams were out warming up, so he was a little confused thinking the game was already in progress!

Hubby went and got the boys team hands which were waved constantly!

Aberdeen City-20130928-00134

M was asking loads of questions about the players and what was happening through the first period.     He was however rather upset by the fact one of our players had a shirt that was a slightly different design to those of the other players.    Something I probably wouldn’t have noticed without him asking about it!

Aberdeen City-20130928-00142

 D on the other hand was concerned the man doing the announcement was the DJ on our local radio station that had taken over from his favourite DJ!

By the end of the second period, M was happily cheering the goals, and clapping the saves, and blowing raspberries when the other team scored!!!     D by this time was more interested in the mascot who was wandering around.       He was getting quite upset by other kids getting high fives and cuddles and him getting none.   But when he went down, he kept himself of the edge of the group and never pushed himself forward to the Lynx.      He did eventually get himself a cuddle about half way through the final period, and this improved his mood somewhat!       M actually got a high-five from the mascot, and this was extremely rare, as he is normally petrified by this sort of thing.    when we have been to shows on holiday, he is fine with watching the characters, but when they are wandering about having meet and greets, he will be shaking like a leave, not wanting to go near them.

The score line didn’t go in Aberdeen’s favour, with Edinburgh beating them 5 – 9, but it was an entertaining game.    I was getting back to my sarcastic comments being shouted, and it felt good!!!!        Before we left the rink, M asked if we could go again!     I was really chuffed by this!        D I believe was a little too tired which is why he lost interest in it so soon.   Maybe next time we will make sure he has a rest before we head out!

I was really impressed with how excited M was by the whole thing.   I had taken their earplugs, just in case the noise got too much for them, but it was just fine.     I also had pockets full of treats to bribe them into sitting nicely, but they only dived into hem during the period breaks.      M gave me a big hug, and thanked me for taking him as he had had the best day of his life!        I don’t think he realises how good it makes me feel that he loves something I do.      Something I learned to love because of my Dad, that he will never know.

He has asked his Dad if he will teach him to skate!   A job I am happy to pass on, having damaged my knee quite badly when I was skating while at school.    Hubby has agreed to take them during the October holidays.    I cant imagine accident prone D not hurting himself, but time will tell, he might be a natural!

Both boys have said they want to take their foam hands into school to tell their teachers about it!      To want to impart their joy to others says so much about what the evening meant to them.

I think the lesson I have learned out of this experience is that sometime we try too hard to remove possible obstacles from the way of our children, where there are things they will copre with a lot better than we could ever imagine.



2 responses »

  1. So good that this has come to you, that the boys are so into it and that it it’s something for you to do as a family. I’ve only seen it on TV, but it looks really exciting and fast and highly, highly skilled.

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