Sunday, June 24, 2012

Aces for Autism, a Big Hit

INDIAN HARBOUR BEACH, Fla. -- Joseph Mazzella doesn’t often like to try new things.
Volunteer Cindy Dickens works
with Cedrik Dunlap, left, and
Joseph Mazzella, right.
But the 14-year-old is very polite about it.
“No thank you. No thank you,” he’ll say, usually twice like that. But sometimes he’ll say it even when he doesn’t mean to say no, like Saturday afternoon volleying with a coach at the Kiwi Tennis Club.
“Do you want to play tennis again?” I asked him. “You seem pretty good at it.”
“No thank you. No thank you,” came his reply, despite the smile on his face.
Mazzella was one of 50 kids registered for the third annual Aces for Autism tennis clinic put on by Florida Tech’s Scott Center for Autism Treatment, a terrific time for kids with varying degrees of autism to play tennis, work on social skills, exercise a bit and get exposed to a sport that holds quite a bit of appeal for those with autism.

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