Teenage Boy with Autism Discovers the YMCA 5K is Fun!

September 19, 2014

batten boys out to eat title 2

Last year Sprout Pediatrics started something new…well we started three something news! Pardon the grammar, but we are thrilled to share what last years Pumpkin Run birthed! First of all it was our first time partnering with the Northwest Family YMCA to sponsor a race.  It was fun to encourage folks to be part of our team and be active.  Our desire is to see everyone being active and ultimately healthy!  Second, it was the launch of being #Sproutfit.  Our hash tag was introduced and we intended to use it to highlight Adaptive fitness in and around the Midlands.  While we did that, something bigger is happening! We realized that being #Sproutfit is about being healthy physically, mentally, socially and emotionally.  Our organization wants encourage all aspects of healthy living so #Sproutfit is much broader than we originally intended!


batten boys biking caption 2

Finally, we saw that kids really do enjoy participating in sports and fitness opportunities with their peers!  It gives them confidence.  It gives them joy.  It helps them be healthy!  One of our participants last year really stole our heart.  He has continued to grow physically, musically and socially.  Take a minute to read his heart-warming story.  You must join us and be part of this year’s exciting Pumpkin Run #Sproutfit Team!

Chase titleMeet Chase! A 13 year old teenage boy who is full of life.  He loves the drums and is taking piano, but he and his family discovered a new area of confidence this fall, running! In the fall of 2013 our organization embarked on a journey to raise awareness about the needs and lack of opportunities for physical wellness for those with special needs in our community by creating our #sproutfit campaign.

The Batten family with boys Julian (7) and Chase(13) who both have Autism and participated in the one mile kids run at the event. Here is their mom’s account of their experience:


“When I heard there was a special needs team running at the YMCA Pumpkin Run last month, I signed the boys up on the spot! I really can’t remember the last time I saw Chase, my teenage son, actually run. Both boys were so excited to get their Team Spout shirts before the race, and pose for pictures. Both were really excited when we walked out in the bitter cold and the race began.

What happened next…you could have knocked me over with a feather! Chase saw everyone start to run, and stopped in his tracks. He turned and looked at me and I asked him, “Do you want to run too?” and he looked at me and said, “YES!” and TOOK OFF!! Kristy, the boy’s ABA therapist, and I looked at each other and our jaws dropped! In the past, Chase has been a little nervous in crowds and tends to be clingy and insecure about being out of my sight. However during the race, forget it… all bets were off!  He was out of sight and around the corner before we could even react!! The three of us took off too, but he left us in his tracks!! When we got to the part of the run where they lapped the field and turned back, Chase was already around and passing us on his way back to the finish line!! Thankfully some friends were at the finish line and got to see him cross with a huge smile on his face!! He didn’t even ask where his mom and brother were, he followed the crowd, claimed his victory cookie, and waited patiently for us slow pokes to finish!


Pumpkin Run CookiesAfter all the pictures and celebration we were chatting with some friends, and Chase came over and put his hand on my shoulder. My child that didn’t speak his first word until he was 5 years old leaned in and said, “Mom, I feel great!” I have a suggestion for next year! Please have a box of tissues at the finish line!”

Won’t you join us for this year’s race?

Our goal for this year’s race is a team with 200 members made up by children and adults able and challenged. Sprout Pediatrics is committing additional funds that will be earmarked for this programming!

We are creating Team Sprout stickers for race day to designate our team this year.  Hope to see you all there!!

Instructions to sign up with Team Sprout for the 2014 Pumpkin Run:
-Go to: http://www.strictlyrunning.com/gpscrlgnReg-9f.asp
-Click on YMCA Northwest Pumpkin Run, first, last name and date of birth
-Click on Group Registration and add to an existing group/team
-Click on Team Sprout and enter Captain name/email “rhyno77@gmail.com”
-Fill out your personal information and choose 5k run, 5k walk or kid fun run (if you are doing this with your young child as a helper you only need to register the child), T-shirt size
-Go to the next screen and pay to check out.

Thanks again for your support in this endeavor!

NorthWest Family YMCA Pumkin Run 5K and Kids Fun RunHow to Lock your Toddler’s Ipad using Guided Access!
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