Red Devils Soccer Camp for Autistic Kids

“Dad – let’s go to Charlie’s Soccer today, please?”  One of my earliests posts was about a Soccer Camp for Autistic Kids and after what felt like an eternity of waiting and endless questioning from our two excited twins, the boys finally got to attend the camp this past week. . . . . and unfortunately, they are anxious to attend camp today even though it concluded yesterday afternoon.  I love the picture below – we had barely gotten on the freeway for our 1 hr drive home when Twin A fell asleep holding his soccer ball. . . . . he was so tired.

Red Devils Soccer Camp for Autistic Kids Salt Lake City Utah

Twin A LOVES his shirt and his new soccer ball – signed by “Leo” – the mascot for Real Salt Lake, our MLS Soccer Team

I will post more about it in my “weekly post” since I have to edit some pictures for it but let’s just say it was an amazing experience.  The background to the camp was that Charlie (one of the boys in my son’s class) has a neighbor who is a teenager on the Red Devils Soccer Club in UT.  She knew Charlie loved soccer but didn’t play because of his autism so she and her mom decided to do a camp for Charlie.  There was a great writeup in the Salt Lake Tribune with awesome pictures of Charlie and his amazing mom Jen, who was another catalyst in getting this started.

Charlie at the Red Devils Soccer Camp for Autistic Kids - SLC, UT

image from the SL Tribune – Red Devils Soccer Camp for Autistic Kids

Well, almost 60 autistic kids attended the camp (with a ton still on the waiting list) and there were close to 100 volunteers.  When you talked to the people doing the check in, they were all ‘family members’ or ‘friends’ of this wonderful neighbor.  All the volunteers (so all the teenagers as well) took a tour of one of the autistic schools in the city and also, had a training on ABA and general autistic conditions.

I am truly impressed by the individuals I met this week. . . . the volunteers who worked with my twins. . . the coaches who were there 90 minutes beforehand setting up and getting ready. . .  Charlie and his family for their effort in getting this organized. . . . and Michelle (Charlie’s neighbor) and her daughter for turning a little boy’s wish into a reality.  I mean seriously – they had 100 volunteers on hand to help the kids. . . they got the kids shirts, snacks, soccer balls, an opportunity to meet the Real SL Mascot from MLS Soccer – AMAZING!

Thank you all SO MUCH.  It meant the world to me to see my twins running around, laughing and playing.  Twin A gave his mentor a big hug when he left, and Twin B can’t stop talking about his mentor and the fun time he had!  More to come on Monday!  Have a great weekend!

 

 

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17 comments
  1. cathmae said:

    so wonderful, isn’t it, when our kids and our families are embraced in this way? Your post reminds me of all the people who haved gifted us with their time and compassion.

    • It was awesome. WIth so many people that give you ‘the look’ with autistic kids, it’s great having others who are so willing to help.

  2. Love the picture of him asleep with the soccer ball! That camp sounds amazing! To have a safe place for our kids to go….so very cool.

    • It was great to know that, to your point, we could take our kids there and not worry about being ‘judged’ or ‘letting down’ other parents or kids. A great two days for the boys.

  3. g said:

    How wonderful!!

  4. Sounds and looks like they had a great time! Really great post! Thanks for sharing.

  5. What an encouragement to see the community respond in this way!!!! Thanks for sharing what’s going on good in your neck of the woods.

    • Thank you! We were so lucky to have this opportunity and so grateful for those who put it on for everyone. Phenomenal

  6. What an incredible event!! Wow..really, wow. 🙂 I love it when people all pull together and make something so special happen for others. So much love in this. (The pic of your boy asleep with his soccer ball is adorable!)

    • Thanks! I was trying to drive and get the picture at the same time – that’s when you know they had a great day. 🙂

      I’m so grateful for those who did this for our kids. . . . . now to pay it forward. 🙂

  7. Cyn said:

    That’s fantastic! It’s amazing what folks can do when they put their hearts first instead of their minds:) I love the pic of your son asleep with his soccer ball:)

    • It’s my favorite picture – everyone was so awesome. I don’t think they’ll ever realize how much this meant to us and a lot of the other families who were able to attend. It was fantastic.

  8. Corine Strickler said:

    New findings published in Pediatrics (Epub ahead of print) by the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Autism and Related Disorders reveal that 70 percent of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who have a history of severe language delay, achieved phrase or fluent speech by age eight. This suggests that more children presenting with ASD and severe language delay at age four can be expected to make notable language gains than was previously thought. Abnormalities in communication and language are a defining feature of ASD, yet prior research into the factors predicting the age and quality of speech attainment has been limited. ‘

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