Parents Accepting my child needs to move on from gymnastics

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GYMGG

Proud Parent
I have a daughter mildly on the autism spectrum. She has been doing artistic gymnastics for three years and acro dance for almost a year. She has a lot of potential because she is very strong and also super flexible.

However, in gymnastics she never was selected for additional training hours for competitions and therefore was limited to the set two hours a week offered. She therefore remained a bit behind and only recently started learning her walkovers through seperate 1-1 coaching.

I am now starting to believe that her mind set unfortunately is not cut out for both acro and gymnastics. She has gone through multiple phases of not being able to perform a back walkover, after months of being able to do it due to a sudden fear.

We have had similar instances with other skills like this where the coach has had to rebuild and teach her. She is also very sensitive when moving to new environments to perform a skill or trying without mats even if it’s just a very thin one.

Her 1-1 coach has now sort of given up after having a fall back for the third time in the skill. I admit so am I but I am finding it difficult to admit we will probably have to move on. It’s such a shame as her body really was made for this.

I have tried to help her cope with her condition but I guess I am going to have to admit it may be a bit too much for her 😔
 
Strong athletic bodies will always find activities that they will excel at. Let her try out a few different things and see how she takes to them. Maybe a more team oriented sport would allow her to participate without the pressure of being the focus.
 
I agree with GymDad. Gymnasts/acros are by their nature strong athletes, so she may well transition into another sport where she can put her talents to work and really thrive on every level.

I totally understand you feeling a little sad; I think it's a natural reaction after years of effort on your part. Hope you guys make a smooth transition, if that's what you ultimately decide makes sense.
 
I think the first question to ask is if your daughter is enjoying it? If so, there is no reason for her to need to stop doing gymnastics. While many of us here have competitive gymnasts and a lot of the posts are about that, there is nothing wrong with being a recreational gymnast who has an amazing time every week, even if it means relearning a skill multiple times. If she is not enjoying herself it is definitely time to move on, but if she is enjoying herself, please keep her in gymnastics!
 
I think the first question to ask is if your daughter is enjoying it? If so, there is no reason for her to need to stop doing gymnastics. While many of us here have competitive gymnasts and a lot of the posts are about that, there is nothing wrong with being a recreational gymnast who has an amazing time every week, even if it means relearning a skill multiple times. If she is not enjoying herself it is definitely time to move on, but if she is enjoying herself, please keep her in gymnastics!
I am Considering maybe keeping acro dance since this is just an hour a week. Its hard to tell whether she enjoys things or not because she goes through so many phases
 
It sounds like the thing you need to move on from is your dreams about your child’s future success in competitive gymnastics. The point of youth sports is for kids to stay active and have fun. That’s all that matters.
 
It sounds like the thing you need to move on from is your dreams about your child’s future success in competitive gymnastics. The point of youth sports is for kids to stay active and have fun. That’s all that matters.
To be honest I do t mind if she stays out of competitions. It’s more that I am seeing her not learn much. The coaches get frustrated having to rebuild constantly with her and her friends all move on to higher levels and she is stuck on the same. Not sure if you understand me.
 
Hi all thank you for giving me all your perspectives. You have given me a lot to think about. I am a bit emotional about it at the moment so need some time to reflect on it. But will keep you all updated on what we do. My daughter is also a good dancer so she may wish to focus a bit on that instead. We will have to see
 
To be honest I do t mind if she stays out of competitions. It’s more that I am seeing her not learn much. The coaches get frustrated having to rebuild constantly with her and her friends all move on to higher levels and she is stuck on the same. Not sure if you understand me.

Does she think you want her to compete? Is she putting pressure on herself thinking she has to do what someone else is doing? LIke that she needs to be doing what her friends do or that you are expecting something? Or shes upset her friends are moving on causing her to be stressed out?

My daughter is also on the spectrum but much younger - that said she is stressed she does have regressions in her speech. Could it be a regression like that?
 
Not everybody is cut out for competitive gymnastics. Does she enjoy it though?
My eldest stayed in a rec class until she was 9 and then joined the competive program at 10. Before then she didn't like anyone watching her do it - but shes grown in confidence since then. She's not as naturally strong and flexible as some of the littlies that do it but with persistance and hard work she got there - she was state champion for her age group (9-10 year olds) for level 3 her first year competing, but the 8 and under kids still scored much higher in general.
She loves the training though far more than the competing - she really only switched because rec classes couldn't teach her harder skills and we found a club that was happy to take her on the competititve team at an older age than most of them start (her original club put her down as not strong enough). She does see the younger kids and also her same age peers advancing much more quickly but it actually doesn't bother her - she's happy learning it at her own pace (she's repeating level 5 this year at 13 - partially due to a knee injury that took her out 6 weeks before comp season started last year, so she missed the first one and didn't do great at the others, but also because she's just not getting it as quick as some of the others). Bur yeah, there are 8 year olds in the same level doing it better.
Ours train in age groups as well as levels though - hers has level 3s to level 6s but they are all around the same age (10-14). The younger ones have a different coach who teaches level 4-8 together but the ages are 8-12. And another group is level 1-3 but age 4-9. And another group is level 6-10 but age 12+. So it doesn't matter too much what level you are as you tend to stay with your age group friends.

My other daughter does trampoline instead and generally thats far more relaxed and less strict than WAG though - that might be an option. Shes also progressing at her own pace (and not doing it competitively - just doing gradings). Its also much easier to pick up skills on less hours. Eg my eldest is doing 12 hours a week for WAG and my youngest has just switched to doing 1.5 hours a week from 1 hour doing level 3 - level 3 WAG was 6 hours minimum. And even the competitive team are only doing 2 x 1.5 hour sessions a week. They don't do longer hours until they are 13 (approx training level 5 or 6). Again - they try and keep them with kids their age rather than level and the coach teaches a range of levels in the same class.
 
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Hi all. So after giving my daughter a week break from artistic gymnastics and letting her just go to her acro lesson we had some time to reflect on it.

Her gymnastics coach thinks she can handle the level she has in mind for her (she calls it a 1a where they focus on the walkovers , cartwheel on beam etc). I therefore decided to put her there for a term in summer and then she can decide whether to continue that or her acro dance.

Personally I think acro dance is a bit better for her as she doesn’t have as many elements with the equipment to overload her brain. But I will let her decide. She also has her acro exam next week so eager to see how she does on that. She did really well in her initial assessment sheet so we see :)
 
Sounds like a good plan for the summer. My nephew is on the spectrum too (mild like your DD) and my observation is that the linear progress through life looked a little different for him and it was tough for my sister and BIL to know when to nudge, when to pull him back, etc. As someone else mentioned above, a stressor in his life easily could cause regression in other areas. Of course all parents face this but I think having a neuro-divergent kiddo adds a little something extra. If gymnastics/acro ends up not working out perhaps she could try swimming or track.
 

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