Letter from Brian Storm, CEO of Sports Force Parks
As Sports Force Parks finishes celebrating National Autism Awareness Month, I wanted to share my experience of having a son with autism and why it’s so important that we bring awareness to this cause.
My son Noah is 21. He’s a gearhead like me, and he’s also one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet. He loves animals and if he sees any sort of creature in distress, he always wants to help them. At work, if he finds out someone has a medical issue or other sort of personal problem, he’s constantly checking in with them to make sure they’re ok. If he sees someone loading up their car, he’ll ask if he can help them. Noah is quite high-functioning, so he has a sense of independence and confidence that not every kid with autism has.
That’s why I’m proud that the Force All Stars program meets kids with disabilities at their own ability level. Every kid that participates plays in an encouraging environment where there are no physical or mental barriers to hold them back. And there’s plenty of family and friends around to cheer their athlete on!
As the parent of a kid with autism, I understand the frustration of being at neighborhood barbecues and having to listen to other parents talk about their kids’ athletic accomplishments, but not having any to talk about on my end. These leagues and camps give parents the opportunity to discuss the things their kids are learning and the achievements they’re making. They may not have led their Varsity Football team to the state championships, but their achievements are no less remarkable.
I encourage you to learn more about what autism is, and all of the special characteristics that kids with autism have. While National Autism Awareness Month is only during the month of April, Sports Force Parks is celebrating the achievements of these kids year round. If you have a family member with autism who hasn’t participated in our Force All Stars program, contact Park Manager Molly White (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn how you can get involved.
Brian Storm, President & CEO of Sports Force Parks
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