As a parent I have struggled to accept that my child has a learning disability- he is social and look s fine. I took time to accept that it is not mainstream education but Special education that he needed– Jonathon’s father
His skill with the ball, his speed, team coordination is clearly improving with each practise session; if he is regular with football practises he will be ready to play National and International levels– MM Khurram, Football Coach
Jonathon who is 13yrs now, joined Balvant Rai Mehta School, Delhi two years back and is studying in Class 7 in the special wing. Through the school he joined Special Olympics Bharat and discovered his proclivity to football. He likes playing Cricket and has also won a Gold medal in a Karate competition held 3 years back in Delhi.
Belonging to Manipur, Jonathon’s parents observed developmental delays during his early years. Around the age of 3 he started to speak. His parents also had his vision tested as they felt there was a problem there owing to which he was unable to perform in his class. During their meetings with his teachers they heard the same observation again and again. Jonathon was social but was not able to remember lessons , having a short span of attention.
He repeated Class 5 but the constant complaints and also Jonathon’s struggle to perform beyond capacity made his parents re- think, and they went ahead with having his IQ assessed. Jonathon joined a Special school.
He took very well to the environment there , never complaining even once about anything. His physical education teacher at the school had him join physical fitness and football.
October 2016 gave him his first experience of a football match in a competitive model. Khurram observed his skill and speed during practises and was happy with it but during the competition Jonathon got nervous. With the ensuing regular football practises , through individual guidance and team practises he build up a rapport with his Coach and co- players. He participated in the Unified Football competition held in May 2017 in Delhi scoring maximum goals through the tournament. According to Khurram, it was not just the number of goals but his perfectly balanced team-coordination and skill with the ball which made him stand apart and got him the ‘Player of the tournament’ trophy. This match was played with India Spurs playing Unified partners
Jonathon’s father was overwhelmed to observe the motivation his team mates were giving to him – “ Go for a hat trick” and he scored the maximum goals in the match.
His father however wishes that he communicates better and learns to express his gratitude appropriately to his co players, coach and all others. “I will learn that too papa’- is what Jonathon has to say