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Discussion Starter #1
So my son has Aspergers and I've been really trying to get him involved in things. So finally, one day after a long day on the stand, he said "dad whats that in the case?" I pulled out the bow and showed him and his eyes for one of the few times lit up. I immediately ran him over to GM and bought him a Bear Scout (practice daily) and his condition has actually improved! School grades, social interactions, Coordination, Patience and concentration were things he was having issues with. I'm starting a program that gets kids (autistic) and parents involved in archery and tracking any success that this sport may have on the children. Coaching can sometimes be difficult but I've fought that war and once they get it, they've got it! If anyone is interested in possibly helping me on this venture or have any ideas, please get back with me. I'm not on here often, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask. I'm also in touch with some other organizations in Indiana, waiting on responses. It's always good to have good people and organizations in your corner when breaking into something like this. Thanks! View attachment 1770126
 

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That is AWESOME!!! I shot a tourney this year with a father that got his son into archery for this very reason. His son set a State Record and is sponsored by Gold Tip. He said he too noticed a dramatic change in his son once they found archery. His son will sit and study archery and can tell you about anything archery related. You are all true heroes in my mind for working through this and taking the time to truly connect with your sons. Keep up the great work and I wish you well in your endeavor.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, he's a great kid and I'll do whatever I can for him and others in similar situations.
 

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Truly a great story! This is why is love this sport and the people involved with it
 

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The owner/my boss has a son with autism and he hangs around the shop all the time. He has really opened up, at least with fellow archers around the shop. He actually can hold entire conversations with strangers which he had trouble doing before. And he is one hell of a barebow compound shooter! We have 3 other kids who get lessons and shoot in our JOAD program. All have varying degrees of autism and are 8, 12, and 16. Their families tell us the same thing, their grades and social skills have greatly improved since they got involved in archery! These are kids whose parents never thought they would be able to participate in organized sports, and have found that they thrive. The 16 year old was brought in by his grandfather who he lives with. He wouldnt speak a word to anyone other than family members. He had a sort of hunched and apprehensive posture, you could tell social situations really made him uncomfortable. After about a month now of shooting and his granfather getting him his first bow his posture has improved as well as his social interaction. Hes talking to more people and communicating better at home, school, and with the staff at the shop. Coaching a child with autism is different though. You really have to give extra praise and do more than normal to get them excited about shooting. We hold off on any critiquing until they are comfortable in the environment. Its hard, because as a coach you want to correct and see that correction executed. But with autistic kids you have to be extra patient and loving. In the end its all worth it, to see a child with autism or any "disability" transform and just have a great time.
 

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Well played sir! From one father to another, you have my upmost respect. Keep up the good job :thumbs_up
 

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Shooter of flesh
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We have a group of about 15 that come in for, before hours, lessons one or twice a month. I'm not involved in it, one of the owners teaches it. He's got a ton of patience and is really good with kids in general, but I know he really enjoys the time with those kids. One of the kids (14) in my JOAD class has some level of autism, not real bad, and he's really opened up over the last year or so. Lots of ups and downs and also shoots in our Wednesday night league when his dad has him. Seeing it from the outside, I know it can't be easy and my heart goes out to the parents.
 

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Budget Bowman,
My little 13 yo cousin " a bit of tongue in cheek as he is already 6'1" has aspergers. It is amazing that when he clicks with an interest he will study EVERYTHING about it. He will talk your ear off about his interests. He's a cool kid.
Thanks for taking the time to find what clicks with the children. I think that is the key for any child out there. Find out what interests them and let them run with it. I think they will amaze us with what they want to learn.
I was thinking if you can contact some organizations and tell them you'd like to intro kids with archery. see what they can do for you. Maybe contact some dealers or manufacturers and see if they can donate or reduce the cost on bows or equipment for the kids. Might help out some that can't afford to buy the equipment for archery. Just my thoughts.

SOTA
 

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Congrats on the great thing that you are doing. It's a shame that you are so far away as I would totally be willing to help out any way I could but looking at google maps your up near Indy. Hope that it all comes together for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The Indiana Bow Hunters Association just sent me ALOT of awesome resources and with all of your comments I should be heading in the right direction! Thanks to all and Ill keep you all up to date on progress made.
 

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God Bless You. I have one grandson with mild Autism and a second one with ADD. So far I have only seen an interest from the one with ADD. We make regular trips to the local range and he is learning to concentrate and follow rules. His shooting and strength has improved immensely. He started with a Bear Warrior III and is now shooting a Mission Menace which will adjust with him as he grows. I am a pistol instructor, and his mother is being cautious and wisely keeping him away from firearms until he shows the maturity needed to be respectful around guns. The bow is a great bridge. After 55 years away from the sport, I bought a bow and am shooting right along side him. We had a great summer. One down and one to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wow! thats a great thing your doing by picking up a bow after a break! Aspergers is tough because many people require a routine. After explaining anchor points, stance and form it helps develop routine for them and minimizes distractors. Im not a behavioral health pro but Ive learned a lot by trial and mostly error lol!
 

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I don't know you or the kids you are working with but I still want to say Thank You.

The archery club I shoot at taught a couple of community ed archery night to try and drum up some new members. Two of the people that came out were a young boy and his mom. Right away she let me know he has Aspergers and I assured her it would not be a problem ... even though I didn't know much about it.

In just two evenings of shooting, he really opened up. First of all, he was shooting very well and as you stated, once he had the routine, he was the best behaved kid there. We kept things very positive with him, and just patiently kept at it. By the end of the second night he we talking to me and really having a good time. I only hope his family finds a way that he can stick with it. I gave them my contact info and said I would be more than happy to help, but haven't heard from them since. That is the trouble with most of the kids that I work with through our 4-H program, the parents don't have the interest or the means to let the kids stay involved, sad really.

ALL kids need opportunities to find something they can excel at.

Mitch
 

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This is amazing, you have my respect and admiration. I think archery should be much more widely considered for helping people with behavioral health and mental health issues cope better with life. I know it has helped me greatly dealing with PTSD, and I would love to see it implemented on a much wider level. What you're doing is inspiring, and I tip my hat to you. If you're ever in my neck of the woods, first round is on me.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you to everyone who has kindly given their time to post on my topic! Your encouragement is truly appreciated and I am making lists of all the contacts that I have been provided. As updates occur, I will surely post them here and please check back often!
 

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Great work. I have to say getting anyone with any condition of any kind involved in archery has to do wonders for them and the sport. Thanks for getting more folks involved. :D Oddly enough, we're both in Greenwood IN.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
That's great, I've not met many people from town on here yet (only been on here for a few days). I'm trying to secure a few spots around here and Franklin Township to use for the range.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I owe a progress report to you all so here it is. I will more than likely be allotted time and land use at Eagle Crest Park, thanks to the City of Indianapolis. I have a meeting on Monday with them to hash that out.
Website changed to www.archersforautism.org. That's all I know so far... but were still at it!
 
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