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The Incredible Power of Baseball, Friendship and a Sense of Belonging

High School Baseball Player on PosterThis is my nephew, Connor whom I am so proud of!  He’s a graduating senior at Garnet Valley High School in Pennsylvania. Connor was non-verbal until he was almost 4 and then he started reciting word-for-word movies like Madagascar and Cars.

He never connected to kids his entire life. Always adults.

But, given his love of baseball and with the support of his mom, and therapists he was convinced to expand his horizons and join the baseball team to help with his social skills.

The baseball coach and team embraced him and were so happy to do so. They made him the team manager. This was three years ago. They love him. They don’t treat him differently at all. He is one of the guys.

The Social Benefits of Baseball

He still has a hard time in social situations, but when he is with his team, he is fine. 

At senior night, the coach honored Connor by having him throw out the first pitch… this is what his mom said, “Proud moment for Connor. The way the team has welcomed him is such an awesome thing. I was always afraid he would be singled out, but the team brought him in as one of them and makes me want to cry. I am so proud of everything he has accomplished “

Inclusion and Friendship Builds Invaluable Confidence

Baseball player and his auntI can’t express how much this has helped Connor. He’s so confident and the inclusion has helped him so much!  I’m a proud Aunt and I know his parents are so grateful for the baseball team!   

As he graduates High School and enters the next phase of his incredible life, we know the confidence he has gained and the foundation set by this experience will stay with him.
~ Jennie (SLP-Assistant)