Archive for July, 2011|Monthly archive page


Just in case you needed a little giggle this hump day.

Handicap Escape

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Skateboarding for Autism

Lyra Stephens

Lyra Stephens' 5-year-old son, Sewell, was diagnosed with autism when he was 2. Ph. Stacy Thacker, Gannett; image courtesy USAToday.

Depending on which side of the fence you sit, skateboarding is often viewed as an extreme sport of choice or a public nuissance. But in this article by USAToday, one roller derby mom is helping her young son with autism by supporting an organization that brings the sport of skateboarding to children whose disability most often restricts them from playing sports at all.

Most people understand the limitations placed on an individual with a physical disability to participate in sports. In fact, we are pretty used to the exhaltation that individuals with disabilities recieve when they are able to overcome their disability to become athletes. However, most people don’t think about how a disability such as autism can prevent a child from playing even the most unruly of neighborhood street sports with local kids. The thought eludes them and many can’t understand why, if there’s not a physical limitation, can’t a child with autism join in. But among other things, autism is a social disorder, making grasping the social dynamics of team sports difficult at best and impossible for most. Yet, co-founderof A.Skate and mom of a child with autism Crys Worley, has found that skateboarding is one sport that children with autism can excel at. The solitary nature of skateboarding provides the perfect physical outlet for children with autism and doesn’t force the child to combat awkward social dynamics.

The A.Skate program travels throughout the U.S. holding clinics for children with autism at no cost to the families, and even gives grants to children with autism for skateboarding gear. The organization also promotes awareness and educates families about the skateboard industry.

The article interviews roller derby mom Lyra Stephens, of Montgomery, Ala., who talks about her son’s autism and the challenges they faced. Currently Stephens is helping to support the A.Skate Foundation organization by organizing a benefit scrimmage that will bring three other derby teams from the region to Montgomery to help the cause.

You can read this and more here.

Battle of the Build: OCC vs PJD in the Cadillac Build-off to Cure Duchennes


OCC and PJD face-off in the Cadillac Build-Off. PJD's Cadillac inspired bike (left) and OCC's (left) were commissioned by Cadillac for a charity auction. Proceeds from the auction will be donated to Cure Duchennes. Duchennes is a recessive X-linked form of muscular dystrophy. Image via Motor Ride.

Fans of the hit Discovery Network show American Chopper are familiar with the father/son dynamic that is heated enough to start World War III.

But in the show’s most recent episode, the two put their battle of the bikes to good use, each working with Cadillac to build two bikes to be auctioned off to raise money and awareness for the cure for Duchennes.

You can see a clip of that episode here.

Duchennes is a recessive X-linked form of muscular dystrophy. It is the more fatal of the forms of muscular dystrophy.

The two bikes, one from Orange County Chopper, or the Paul Sr.’s bike shop, and one from Paul Jr. Designs, the son’s shop, were designed utilizing elements, hardware, and even cadillac owned paints, to build a bike that represented the heart, image, and style of Cadillac. The two bikes are currently in an auction bidding war, the proceeds of which will be donated to Cure Duchennes. Paul Jr.’s bike is currently in the lead.

See this auction and more on Discovery Channel’s official website.

Closeup pictures and spec information on the two bikes can be found in this articel written by Motor Ride.

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