Monday, March 31, 2008

Jace's Story

At a young age, Jace Akridge’s parents were informed that Jace was on the Autism Spectrum. This means that Jace has a type of Autism. Jace’s case is mild, but he still is in need of help with focusing and learning.

The Akridge’s wanted to make sure that Jace had the same chances to participate in sports as other children his age, and in a program where he would be incorporated into every activity and not just pushed aside because the coach did not want to take the extra time to work with him.
After a little searching they decided that the YMCA, a place with Christian principles and ideas, would be the place for Jace.

In the spring of 2006, Jace started his first soccer class. It was early afternoon and here he came running around the side of the building with his soccer shorts, shoes, shin-guards and the brightest smile this world has seen. Over the next six weeks Jace grew in many ways. He became even more outgoing. He learned how to work with others his age as they enjoyed soccer together. But most importantly he grew as a person. Jace’s dad would come after the start practice, and Jace would want to show his dad all he could do. Jace was proud that his parents would come and watch him play soccer every week.

The Akridge’s proudest moment, though, was when Jace received his soccer medal at his awards ceremony. Mr. and Mrs. Akridge knew that their decision to participate in the YMCA sports program was one of the best ways to help Jace. Jace recently enrolled in the 4-year-old basketball program. He was more excited to play than before. Jace’s face would light up more every time he would score a basket with the same smile he came around the corner of the building almost a year ago.

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This was written for the O'Fallon Family YMCA Links. Links is a newsletter written for members and employees.

1 comment:

jaycee said...

I was surfin' and found your blog.
You sound like a really great young lady. Keep up the good work.
God bless!