LACONIA — A tennis clinic for children with autism spectrum disorder started Sunday at the Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region and will continue for five more weeks.
The program is provided by ACEing Autism, a nonprofit organization that brings recreational tennis programs to children on the autism spectrum, which has partnered with Lakes Region Community Services and Advantage Kids.
“We are very excited to be bringing our mission to Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region. Bringing the game of tennis to children with autism and their families has such a profound impact with families and communities we serve! We can’t wait to train the volunteers and see the new program grow and become part of the Laconia community.” says Richard Spurling, CEO of ACEing Autism.
Spurling said the specially designed tennis clinic benefits children on the autism spectrum and their peers in various ways. “Just having them on court and participating is great for social skills training, general socialization, which leads to improved fitness, hand eye coordination, and improved motor skills. Not to mention giving parents a well needed recreational hour for their children.”
The new program will be held every Sunday from 11-11:50 a.m. through Nov. 19 at the Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region .
“Lakes Region Community Services’ Family Resource Center and Autism Center are happy to support the ACEing Autism program debut in Laconia. We serve families throughout the Lakes Region with children on the spectrum and always strive to fully involve children in programs and activities that enhance their life experiences. As a community-centered, collaborative agency, our Family Resource Center helped introduce ACEing Autism to families and children in our area who can benefit from this unique program,” said Erin Pettengill, director of the LRCS Family Resource Center.
Bob Ronstadt, executive director of Advantage Kids, facilitated the program by identifying ACEing Autism and LRCS as potential partners. Ronstadt said “We are delighted to see this tennis program become a reality and will continue to support it.”
Using a dedicated nationwide volunteer force ACEing Autism reaches over 600 children every week.