Courage Center Duluth was recently awarded a grant from the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation of $10,000 to support a new initiative for Autism Spectrum Disorder children and youth. Funds awarded will assist Courage Center Duluth in providing an adaptive sports and recreational program to this population and to train the volunteers needed.
It is estimated that approximately 465 children in the Northland have some form of autism. Children with autism have difficulty communicating and establishing relationships with others, can exhibit repetitive behaviors, limited range of play and have difficulty with changes to their routine or in their environment.
Physical activity and recreation is important for all children and yet those with autism often are left out of school sports and recreation programs and have a difficult time with traditional team sports. Courage Center Duluth began a limited program for children with autism this past winter that was very successful and funding provided by the Foundation will assist the organization as they further develop programming for this population. The ultimate goal of the programming will be to provide safe, community recreation opportunities for children with autism that are fun and teach new skills.
Courage Center Duluth is a satellite program of Courage Center based in Minneapolis. The mission of the organization is to “empower people with physical disabilities to realize their full potential in every aspect of life.” Courage Center Duluth provides a variety of sports and recreational activities to children, teens and adults with disabilities. Activities include: biking/hand cycling, sailing, skiing, dog sledding, wheelchair tennis, canoeing/kayaking, archery, swimming, power soccer, golf and sled hockey.