Bronx resident Lizette Hernandez was disappointed in the lack of athletic opportunities for her son, Donovan, who has autism, so she did something about it. Speaking with Bronx-PR, Hernandez says,
“My 8 year old Son Donovan who is Autistic, said he wanted to play baseball. After looking for a place that was tailored for children with Autism. I didn’t find one in the Bronx, instead we traveled up to Westchester. while watching him and the other children playing, I began to wonder why we couldn’t have something like this in the Bronx.
Hernandez contacted a friend who was coaching with the Bronxchester Little League to discuss the idea of establishing the Bronxchester Challenge League. She says,
“My hope for the challenger league is to create an environment where the children can come play and be themselves. A way to help them with sensory integration and social engagement. A place where they can flap, screech, spin and be themselves without someone staring in disgust.”
Other parents are thrilled with the new baseball league, and with the opportunity for their children to learn athletic and social skills. Bianca Malabe, parent of a participant, told NY News 1,
“It helps him to be more sociable with other kids. He doesn’t have siblings his age, so coming out here, playing in the field, it helps him out in that sense.”
“Everybody gets stuck on baseball and how it’s supposed to look,” Hernandez says,” but once you think outside the box, it looks perfect to me.”
More can be found on the Bronxchester Challenge League Facebook Page.