A. Skate Brings Skateboarding and Autism Together
Fairly often we come across great organizations doing amazing things for individuals with special needs.
In this post we bring you the A. skate Foundation and their story. Make sure to watch the video at the end!
Crystal (Crys) Worley is a Single Mom has two children–Fallon and Sasha. When Sasha was two years old, he was diagnosed with autism.
Crys started to look for ways to encourage Sasha’s physical and social development. She had hoped to start Sasha in organized team sports but his continuing struggles with language and certain social skills ruled that out. Instead, Crys decided to focus on individual sports.
Both her boys loved skateboarding; they loved the feeling of riding and the challenge of learning new things. What she began to recognize was that it was more than just fun for Sasha, it was a unique kind of therapy.
Crys had the idea to hold small, local skateboard clinics with friends who had children with autism. Each successive clinic got bigger and word began to spread. Soon Crys was receiving calls from across the Southeast asking if she would travel to different cities to host skate clinics. Crys wasn’t surprised at the positive response to the clinics. Skateboarding is such a stimulating sport. Kids with autism really enjoy the motion of riding. We have seen even the most hyper and anxious child become completely calm on a skateboard.
A. skate is Formed:
It wasn’t long before Crys decided to formally launch A. skate. Almost immediately A. skate built a groundswell of momentum. The reactions of not only the kids but the parents, too is so touching. At almost every clinic we see kids who are considered non-verbal, speaking in ways their parents have never heard. It’s hard when siblings have baseball or basketball and the autistic child has nothing to be involved with. This gives the child with autism something to actively participate with and take pride in.
The A.skate Foundation allows children with autism to be a part of the social world through skateboarding. Clinics are held no cost to the families and grants are given to children with autism for skateboard gear.
Autism, like skateboarding, can be unpredictable and often times unruly. A.skate embraces the parts of autism that are hard to understand and gives these kids an outlet that is free of rules or judgment, and allows them to be social without being “social”.
Crys’ goal for A.skate is simple–to hold skate clinics for children with autism throughout the United States. A.skate is still a fledgling organization but already has support from a lot of big names in the skateboard industry including: DLX Distribution, The Sheckler Foundation, Skate One, Eastern Skate Supply and Etnies, just to name a few.
A.skate’s growth has surpassed all of Crys’ expectations. but she never forgets why the foundation was started in the first place. She had to overcome some pretty huge obstacles with Sasha. A.skate is my way to give back to other parents and give them some hope. But she won’t really take any credit. Her two sons, Sasha and Fallon–they’re the inspiration for everything she does.