So, I’m faced with a dilemma and I’m looking for honest opinions to help me process my decision.
Sienna has dreamed of being a cheerleader for years. Because of her obvious size difference and physical limitations from being a Primordial Dwarf, I’ve always been hesitant. The last thing I want to see is her being the “flyer” of the team. Which, I’m sure she would inevitably be. (I admit, that’d be awesome to see if I were an on-looker.) I know there are other dwarfs who are cheerleaders, but the ones I know have had gymnastics training and Sienna has not. In addition, those dwarfs do not have a learning disability that I know of.
As she’s gotten older, the delay in her cognitive and emotional development is becoming more apparent. So, I also wasn’t quite sure if she was mature enough to handle cheering with girls her own age.
However, there are times that she grasps such deep concepts that I challenge any adult to be able to master.
Many things with her are a mystery.
So, here’s the situation.
Sienna came home from school a few weeks ago with a flyer for a Special-Needs Cheerleading class. She enthusiastically handed me the flier while exclaiming, “It’s cheap, too!” I couldn’t help but chuckle as she has learned that Mom is quite frugal.
She was right. It was cost-sensitive (as opposed to many cheerleading programs) and the times the class meets fit well within our schedule. So, I e-mailed the director for a bit more information.
I felt confident about the director and the program and was willing to give it a shot.
I took Sienna to the first class. She was so ecstatic. She was a bit nervous, but went right in.
The cheer helpers and director were fabulous. It seemed like a wonderful establishment…but I was still hesitant.
On the way home, Sienna said, “I can’t believe I’m an actual cheerleader!”
You’re probably asking, “What’s the dilemma?”
I’m known for shooting for challenges…For not settling for easy…For not allowing “handicaps” to be excuses…For pushing people (including my kids) to be nothing than their absolute best.
So, by allowing Sienna to be in a modified cheerleading class, am I saying to Sienna that she’s not capable of being in a non-modified cheerleading class when we haven’t even tried a non-modified class?
Looking at safety and actual physical capabilities, I know Sienna would be best in the modified class, but does that feed her spirit?
If she goes into the non-modified class and can’t keep up with the other girls, is she going to get even more frustrated?
Being pretty unfamiliar with cheerleading, I have to guess on what to expect. So far I’m leaning towards checking into enrolling her into a younger aged class that might closely match her physical abilities, but will challenge her to keep up with those who are more advanced than she is. However, putting her around younger girls isn’t going to inspire her to mature.
Now do you see why I’m stuck? Do I put her in the modified class and allow her to help the others and be a leader in the class; do I put her in a younger aged class to test it out; or do I put her in something else altogether? (I’ve always tried to get her to opt for the dance team rather than cheerleading, but she doesn’t seem too excited about that alternative.)