Not my kid but I coached a little league indoor “gym soccer” team years ago. My son was on the team and in the 4th grade. The teams were randomly picked with 3rd and 4th graders on each team.
One of my third graders, Matt, had some form of autism. He occasionally would kick the ball if it came by him but he seemed to be incapable of focusing on the action. In fact it was often a challenge just getting Matt to come off the floor with the shift changes.
I told the kids if they wanted to that each one of them was to play goalie for at least 1/2 game during the season. Matt wanted to play goalie.
The second to the last game of the season we were up by two goals and I announced at halftime that Matt would play goal for the second half. The other kids all gave me an “OH NO!” look but I said that I would put two 4th graders back on defense and they could help Matt.
The two 4th graders never had a chance to say much of anything. The opposing team picked up right away that the “slow” kid was in goal and set up a fast break to the goal. From the edge of the box one kid fired a monster hard shot to the corner of the goal.
I swear Matt didn’t flex a muscle during the fast break. In fact I’m not even sure he was looking in that direction…until the shot.
I have never in my life seen a kid react and move so quickly. Matt sprung to the ball scooped it up and threw it out to the other side of the box where another opponent took another shot. Matt dove back across and made another stop.
By then the 4th graders got his attention and he dumped off to one of them who took the ball to the opponents court.
During Matt’s tenure in the goal he made 8 more saves. Two others, like the first two were killer shots that most kids couldn’t handle. He finally got scored on when one of our 4th grader defenders didn’t intercept an easy roller which Matt stood and watched go into the net.
We ended up winning by 1 goal.
At the end of the game the spectators were all applauding, our team was jumping up and down, the opposing team coach was ribbing me about not being aware of my “secret weapon” and Matt was still standing in the goal.
All of our shouting didn’t get his attention. One of our kids had to go get him and bring him to our sideline and join the celebration.