8-Year-Old Tackles Autism With Football - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

8-Year-Old Tackles Autism With Football



A Davenport boy battling Asperger Syndrome is finding a way to fit in, through sports.

Asperger Syndrome is a high-functioning level of autism, which affects motor skills and makes it hard to socialize. But 8-year old Carson Van Winkle is defying the odds by playing tackle football.

"Football can be very challenging for the kids with autism because it requires a lot of fine motor skills and attention," said Carson's mom, Kristen Christenson. "On the football field he overcomes a lot of it."


Doctors say autistic children can better develop their skills when they become involved in activities with others.

"Getting kids involved in different activities where they're around other kids, other typically developing children, where they can see that behavior," said Dr. Julie Zude, a psychiatrist with the Robert Young Center in Moline.


And Christenson agrees, football has been therapeutic --

"It's just working with him," she said, "understanding that he's not comfortable but we're going to try this."


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