To the Editor:
April is Autism Awareness Month, and I look back over the year since last April, grateful for those who have extended a loving hand to my “autistic spectrum” children, David and Patrick. I especially thank the Bayonne school system, the Simpson-Baber Foundation, and Ms. Noelia Lago, chief instructor of Lago Soo Bahk Do.
I am happy to speak proudly, as other parents do, of what sport my seven-year-olds enjoy. While karate is beneficial to practically everyone for both self-defense and exercise, it has been especially so, physically and emotionally, for my children. It is wonderful that special needs karate means that autism need not lessen their quality of life. Encouraged to progress at their own pace, they first wore white belts, earned colorful merit stripes, and now boast orange belts. I was delighted when, with direction, each boy broke a board!
I, myself, am fortunate to study under Ms. Lago, and she has welcomed me to join in when David and Patrick take their classes with her. It’s become a regular family activity, in our case a father-sons bond.
I encourage parents of special needs children to make use of the healthy avenue that karate presents. You might wish to contact Ms. Lago at (201) 600-7593 for your child, whether “typical” or special needs, and even consider the challenge of karate for yourself.