YMCA hosts family swim day for children with autism

Local News

Families made a splash in Clearfield County this morning.

The Moshannon Valley YMCA hosted a family swim day for children with autism and special needs. 

“I had fun today,” Daniel Glessner said.

Daniel is autistic — but like most boys his age, he’s just a kid who likes having fun. And Sports for All Hearts is an outlet for him to enjoy playtime with his peers.

“We do Sports for All Hearts is a program for kids with Autism, special needs and it allows them to have the experience of sport like any other normal kid but in an adaptive way,” program developer Kara Melillo said.

The Sports for All Hearts program started up this year after Kara was inspired by working with a child with autism. 

For these kids to feel like any other child is what matters most to families.

“This program is really important. Because it gives children the opportunity to feel like normal children and run and play and participate in different sports,” Daniel’s father Joshua Glessner said.

Sporting events are held once or twice a month, and their next event will have kids spinning their wheels.

“We’re gonna do a bike camp, where we can get kids to learn how to ride a bike like normal children. It’s amazing to me that not a lot of kids these days have bicycles so we’ve had a few bikes donated to us,” Melillo said.

Overall, helping these kids have fun and feel just like anyone else is always priority number one.

Anyone that would like to donate, volunteer or help support Sports for All Hearts can contact the Moshannon Valley YMCA at 814-342-0889.  

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