April 2nd is the date the United Nations named World Autism Awareness Day. Founded by resolution on November 1st, 2007, it is only one of four official UN recognition days. Each April, 2nd this brings together communities and organizations devoted to Autism research, awareness, diagnosis, and treatment.

Autism

This Autism moment is about expressing intelligence and abilities, raising consciousness, and changing attitudes.

Autism affects 1 in 68 children, altering learning, communication and social interactions. Individuals with autism are capable of miraculous things. They work, have friends, share joys and disappointments. They are individuals who have mastered resiliency skills. What better way to build those skills that through America's national pastime, baseball?

Autism and Baseball

One example of note, Taylor Duncan was four years old when diagnosed with autism.

Today he is the commissioner/director of the Alternative Baseball Organization, Inc., a developmental baseball organization for teens & adults aged 16+ with autism & other special needs. Established in 2016, their motto, “Inspire, Hit, Run, Succeed”, shifts perceptions involving the autism spectrum.

Duncan doubled down and used unique strengths and abilities to excel. “Autism is not a disability, it is simply a disadvantage,” says Duncan.

The Alternative Baseball Organization has a full schedule of events and partnerships with the Atlanta International Umpires Association, Phoenix Bats, and BOMSS. The main event is the Alternative Baseball All-Star Game, a 9-inning game, which features participants with special needs and professional baseball players from different professional leagues all around the world.

Alternative Baseball helps other autistic communities in 25+ states and counties with their model of creating confidence, teamwork, social, and physical skills.

They go out of the way to foster a sense of belonging. By helping those communities start their own alternative baseball programs, they extend the mission to break barriers and turn disabilities into abilities in the global marketplace.

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