SAN DIEGO — “To the parents, guardians, grandparents, and siblings of kids with autism or disabilities,” Glendale Coloma said while reading off of a letter she wrote to others.
Coloma, who is the mother to an eight-year-old with high functioning autism, pulled from her own experience to offer a sage words for those also in her shoes.
“It’s not easy, it’s so difficult,” says Coloma.
Zander, her son, struggled for a long time using his words.
“He can talk and answer like yes or no, but not to the point like having a conversation (about) how he feels,” Coloma said.
While they would communicate, she said it felt like there was a language barrier, creating a rift between them. That is until last year, when Coloma stumbled across an ad for a Vista softball team specifically for children with autism and disabilities.
“It actually made me happy, because (felt like) ‘Oh, this is the right time for my son,’” said Coloma.
The softball league has given Zander an outlet for both fun and opportunities to help him grow as a person.
“Whenever he is there, he’s saying hi to all the kids, so he’s now into being social,” Coloma said of her son’s transformation since joining the team.
In the Vista softball league, parents are also allowed play the game with their kids. For Coloma, that’s the best part — sharing the game with Zander, while giving him words of wisdom.
Getting to play with her son, she said she gets to help him with things like: “How to make friends and how to be himself, how to be Zander.”
While there have been difficulties, Coloma wants other parents like her to know that “it’s okay to not be okay sometimes,” and there are outlets to help.
Sincerely, Zander’s mom.