By Kodey Toney
He Was A Skater Boy
Did you know that skateboarding and autism go hand-in-hand? Neither did I until a few months ago when I received a phone call asking me about autism resources. I had a lady call me and ask if I knew of any local organizations linked to autism. After a discussion about a couple other groups I mentioned the work we’ve been doing with the Pervasive Parenting Center and she immediately jumped at the chance to help out. Lisa Fabian, the chairperson for the Nashoba Youth Foundation, had contacted a friend put her in contact with me, and I’m so glad they have involved us in the 3rd Annual Oklahoma Slam Skateboarding For Autism Awareness.
Let me start by saying that it has been an honor to be selected for this, and that Lisa Fabian has been working like crazy to organize a great event. There are skaters, vendors, and groups from throughout the United States pitching in to bring a world-class skateboarding experience to our small neck of the woods.
This will be held July 25-27 at both Heavener and Poteau skate parks. This includes skate camps and competitions throughout the three days. Prizes, music, and food will be available.
Knowing very little about skateboarding competitions I do know that there are some big names involved including Vans, Walmart, Forgiven Sk8 Team, and Anthony Mosley, one of the top skateboarders in the world.
The fact that they want to help spread autism awareness to the world is reason enough to come to the competition, but the fact that there will be some great competitions and family fun will make this a huge event for the area this summer.
The fact that the funds raised are going to help the families in this area with autism and other disabilities is just an added bonus. The Pervasive Parenting Center has already helped bring conferences and trainings to the area to help the families and will continue to do so thanks to these donations. The Center has worked to help families learn about Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) as well as finding resources and community involvement. We are working to educate families, professionals, clubs, organizations, and businesses to better serve those in our area who are coping with disabilities.
As I was researching the subject a little I found some related topics I thought would be interesting to the pervasive parents out there. There is skateboard therapy out there for children with autism. I know that there are some places in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, but I could not find any local. I think I may challenge someone to come up with that for our area.
There is an organization called the A.Skate Foundation that helps put on clinics throughout the U.S. for children with autism. They use this as therapy for the children to help with social and fine motor skills. This is a great program for the skaters involved as well because it helps them interact with the children and get a glimpse of what it’s like living with autism. Their website is:http://askate.org/.
I also saw that Facebook has a group called Skateboard for Autism. They use skateboarding to help raise autism awareness and create therapeutic skateboarding programs in the UK and US for children and adults who want to ride. Their mission is to “promote as a therapeutic tool for children and adults with autism as well as raising awareness for autism through the passion of skateboardning by various riders, outfitters, and professional skateboard companies throughout the world.” This is worth checking out too.
As I said, I would have never thought, but it is a great fit for children with autism.
Kodey Toney, M.Ed.
Pervasive Parenting Center