April Autism Blog Hop: The Edges of Possibility

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Today I’m participating in April Autism Blog Hop run by RJ Scott. She does a great job of really getting people together and putting a spotlight on autism, a condition that’s complex and varied, and sometimes difficult to put into words (this year nearly 50 people participating in this blog hop try, though).


First of all, one fact about autism:
Having autism is like having blue eyes or dark hair – it’s part of you.
It is a lifelong condition.

I want to talk with you about autism and sports. Partially because it relates to my book, but also because I was once a volunteer on a Special Olympics event and that was an incredible experience. Seeing kids compete, struggle, and be happy just to participate, was something that stayed with me for quite some time.

So, can people with autism play sports? What disciplines are best for them?
The answer, as with most – if not all – autism-related questions is: It depends.

Not every person with autism can compete, for various reasons. For example, team sports may be much more difficult than the disciplines depending only on individual work, like swimming, running, or horse riding, to name a few.

There are news-worthy success stories out there. Like Jessica-Jane Applegate, a young woman who, at the age of 16, won the gold medal at 2012 Summer Paralympics. Or Todd Hodgetts, who won a gold medal in the Men’s Shot Put F20 event at the same Games. Not everyone with autism can qualify for Paralympics, though. There are specific requirements that have to be met, including IQ of less than 75.
But Paralympics (or more frequent Special Olympics) aren’t – excuse a bad pun – the only game in town for people on autistic spectrum. There are accomplished marathon runners, like Jonathan Brunot, a New York City Marathon medal winner. There is a teen with black belt in tea kwon do. There is a high school basketball player who scored an astonishing 20 points, majority of those from a three point range, in four minutes of the game.

Not every story will get on the news. Not every person on autistic spectrum will be able to play. But the biggest giveaway for me is: you never know. Possibilities are always expanding, for each and every one of us.

I feel inspired! Do you? Comment and tell me what inspired you the most lately. You can win one of two copies of “Running Off the Edge”, my Winter Olympics love story.
The giveaway ends April 20th.
Edited: the winners of the giveaway are H.B. and Trix! Congratulations!

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After the knee injury, Liam O’Connor, the former gold medalist, is no longer able to compete at the Olympics. He’s in Sochi as an assistant coach for another male figure skater and hopes to avoid Eric Lanney as much as possible.
Meanwhile Eric is back to compete for gold in pair skating, but is that the only thing that will be important to him? Maybe when the former lovers meet again in Russia, they will both learn that a gold medal isn’t the greatest prize you can win at the Winter Olympics.

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16 thoughts on “April Autism Blog Hop: The Edges of Possibility

  1. thanks so much for the blog post. what has been inspiring me lately has been the weather. where i live the winter has been real bad…lots of ice and snow. and now finally it’s nice, warm and NO SNOW. it’s inspired me to get out more finally lol

    parisfan_ca@yahoo.com

    • I know what you mean! We had considerably light winter this year in Poland, but I’m usually in a winter funk because of the lack of sun.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. I enjoyed reading your post.
    My 10 year old has inspired me the most. She suffers with reaccuring ear infections. She gets up asks for her meds then goes to school, she wears a hat to cover her ears when ever she leaves the house. She never misses a day of school no matter how much her ear hurts. The school is great with her, she stays inside, they watch her for balance problems and also remember to talk to her face as she can’t always hear other wise.

    geetracy1170 (at) gmail (dot) com

    • Wow, what a responsible daughter you have! And it’s good the school knows how to take care of her, too. 🙂

      Thanks for commenting!

  3. What inspired me lately? Seeing a video clip of a chimpanzee being released back into the wild after being injured and healed and he hugged the people who’d helped him. A hug goes a long way!

  4. I watched 2012 Summer Paralympics and the 2014 Winter Paralympics and it’s just amazing how sport can hep people with different disabilities. I especially was awed by the nearly blind skier’s and how fast they travelled. I think it’s great idea for this Blog Hop for Autism.

    ShirleyAnn@speakman40.freeserve.co.uk

    • There’s something incredible about seeing someone do things we would think are beyond their reach. Or even ours.

      Thanks for the comment! 🙂

    • Oh yes, talented people definitely inspire me! Sometimes there’s also a bit of jealousy involved, but shh. 😉

      Thanks for commenting!

  5. I found the US Paralympic hockey team’s performance pretty inspiring–there was a great documentary about the team on PBS recently, too!

    • It *is* inspiring to see people push themselves like that and accomplish great things 🙂

      Thanks for the comment!

  6. Wonderful post. Marriage equality has inspired me lately. I’ve never been a very passionate person at any particular thing but seeing people fight for something that should be within their rights does make me want to better myself and apply myself to such a worthy task.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

    • Seeing people fight for the right cause inspires me too. I always feel I should do something as well.
      And it’s indeed great to see the news coming from all around the US about the marriage equality.

      Thanks for the comment!

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