by Sydney Goldberg
“They [skateboarders] all have a little Autism in them. They all have a little Asperger’s in them. They all have a little quirkiness in them. They know they can come back to skateboarding, and everything will be okay.” Quotations and information provided by Founder of The A.skate Foundation, Chrys Worley
A.skate brings (insert word here) together.
DLX, Eastern Skate Supply, S-One, Skate One, Etnies
“I know that the skate industry doesn’t have money to give out. Everybody is struggling right now.” Despite the hard economic times, the companies listed above step up and provide gear.
Jim Thiebaud of DLX
“There are so many people that hit him up every single day, and he has really taken to our project. He has a soft heart for Autism.” Worley is a young mom from Alabama, dating an owner of a skateboard shop. She wondered why someone of Thiebaud’s status would reach out.
“If people would step up in the industry to hold an event in our [A.skate] name” that is the way to do it. “If we do this enough and get enough support, we will be able to establish these clinics in different cities, without us being there.” Without any funding, Autism won’t speak through skateboarding.
“Did you know we are doing A.skate because we love our brother?” said Worley’s son Fallon, 5, about his autistic sibling Sasha, 7. At the skatepark, all of the misunderstanding and fighting magically disappears.
“It’s not about lets teach all of these autistic kids how to skateboard.” Skateboarding is a therapeutic channel without being therapeutic.
“When he’s on a skateboard he’s just free.” Sasha is so innocent because he does not understand how people react to him. Kids are harsh, and he cannot comprehend the sarcasm he experiences from them. In skateboarding, none of that hate matters.
True Emotional Connections
“We look at it as lets figure out what you’re good at, and lets work with that.” Both high and low functioning autistic children/teenagers participate in the numerous A.skate clinics around the country. Why focus on the negative, when you can accentuate the positive?
“These kids have been having the time of their life.” Skateboarding is a stimulant. The non-verbal kids smile, laugh, and grab their skateboard instructor’s hand, wanting more. They say more words at these clinics, than their parents have heard them say in months.
“The kids watch him [Sasha] do it, and they communicate the same, all in a monotone voice. He doesn’t understand how he helps them.” A.skate provides children with an outlet to release their energy and share their stories, in a non-threatening environment.
A.skate helped connect my sister and I.
Actions speak louder than words.
Dear skateboard companies, join the cause because we all have a little Autism in us.