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Skateboarding as Therapy for Kids on the Autism Spectrum

Skateboarding as Therapy for Kids on the Autism Spectrum

– [Crys] I think that in
the skateboarding culture you get a lot of people in
general that are different. These are just kids that want a place, and want to be in their own place and not doing what everybody else is doing. – [Voiceover] Crys Worley
is the founder of A.Skate, a non-profit that teaches kids with autism how to skateboard. – Autism has a lot of aspects to it. Most of the kids need
occupational therapy of some form. Skateboarding is similar
to other therapies. They’re learning how to
control their body in motion, and it just stimulates parts of the brain that need to be stimulated in
order to do things in life, in order to have conversations,
in order to pay attention. I have a son who will soon be 14. His name is Sasha, and he
was diagnosed with autism at 22 months old. I bought him his first skateboard when he was right at five years old. His brother was three. It was really difficult for them to just come together and play. There was no play. Somehow the movement of the skateboard just made them focused,
and they would just skate, and I want to do that for other families. – [Voiceover] Crys started
A.Skate eight years ago in a church parking lot
in Birmingham, Alabama. It’s since expanded across
the US and internationally. This year they were invited to participate in the Dew Tour, a pro
skating contest in California where kids were paired with
professional skateboarders. – I’ve known Sasha since I
got involved with A.Skate about five years ago. The joy that I see that it brings to kids, like that’s where I know that this is what I’m supposed to be doing. The skateboarding culture
is accepting of everyone, you know, spectrum or not spectrum, no one cares what color, type, gender, whatever it is like if you
can skate, you can skate, and we got love for you. – [Crys] It’s really
incredible to see kids change through our program. I see families just see their child who is now capable of something, and they didn’t know it. In a way, forming A.Skate is
like a love letter to Sasha, and he may never understand
that or know it, but I do.

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