As we welcome 2021, it is time to release our first Spautism Global Spectrum of the new year.
We have collated just some of the many stories that caught our eye over the last month from across the world. You can see all of last year’s Global Spectrum articles here.
Christmas came early for citizens of Pendleton, Indiana, after the town’s new Community Sport & Wellness centre opened on 14th December. The sport and recreation facility welcomes neurotypical and neurodiverse people after it was officially approved by Sensory City as a sensory-friendly establishment. It is the first fitness centre in the Midwest to have received this certificate, with plans to roll out specific sensory sessions in addition to the facilities and fun spaces that are currently on offer.
In this article by Chessbase, an anonymous author who has Asperger’s explained theirrelationship with chess. They revealed some advantages of being on the autism spectrum and the joys of finding a special interest, as well as touching on the positive impact chess has had on developing cognitive and social skills having found like-minded people at tournaments, which they discussed more in Autism in Chess part two. The articles are insightful first-person accounts of the potential benefits that sport and competition can bring.
Coast to coast
In the middle of the night, three months ago, Matt DiNote woke up with an idea that went on to raise awareness of autism and almost $17,000 in funds for Eden Autism. Inspired by his brother, who has autism and Down Syndrome, Matt cycled across the entire width of the USA, covering more than 5,000 miles and finishing in his home state of New Jersey surrounded by his extremely proud family.
As a professional ice hockey player who wanted to make a difference in his community, Nic Dowd created Dowd’s Crowd with his wife Paige more than two years ago, aiming to provide opportunities for children with autism to enjoy attending games. In December, the Washington Capitals player ran an auction that included signed merchandise, tickets, and an online call with himself and a teammate, to raise funds for the autism community. Some prizes were bought for as much as $1,500.