By Richard Spurling, special to
Asher Major is an 11-year-old boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder, a neurodevelopmental disorder in which children have significant delays in social interaction and language. Many children like Asher struggle to communicate with others, even at a basic level. Two years ago when Asher was 9, he came to The Burbank Tennis Center to try tennis through ACEing Autism, a non-profit tennis program designed for children with autism. Asher’s parents, Clarence and Suzette, hoped to introduce their son to a new sport – one which would allow him to meet and play with other children.
When Asher arrived for his first clinic, he was very excited to be there. He ran around enthusiastically, and immediately picked up a racquet in order to try and hit a ball! While Asher’s energy was endearing, it had to be regulated to ensure that he could follow and engage in the lesson plan which involved group warm-up exercises, hand-eye coordination drills and then some basic stroke production drills and group drills. It was critical in those early days on the court that a safe and productive environment was created for Asher.
After his first session, Asher was hooked.
Today, Asher plays tennis almost daily, and he talks about the sport even more frequently. He has started to make new friends through tennis. Because of Asher’s love for tennis, his entire family has joined the Burbank Tennis Center – his parents and little brother, Gad, are taking tennis lessons so that they can keep up with Asher.
Learn more about Asher by viewing the video above, and to support programs like ACEing Autism or to make a donation, please click here.