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Champions ATA Martial Arts

Joshua Kaufer - Autism Testimony

Posted: April 30, 2019

     Our son Joshua Kaufer (8 years old) started taekwondo 15 months ago.  At 3 years old Joshua was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and delayed speech. His biggest challenge has been verbal communication with peers and adults and judging social situations and interactions. He struggled in school to communicate basic needs to his teachers as well as understanding and being able to follow multiple step directions. He has always had a hard time making friends and playing with others his age. Joshua has a difficult time verbalizing his thoughts to others and will get frustrated and hit his head; most people don't understand that behavior and tend to keep their distance once they have seen it a few times.

     We started Joshua in taekwondo because we were looking for something to help him be more social in a low pressure setting, as well as the physical attributes that taekwondo brings. Joshua having to face bullying as he grows up is something that we think about and want him to know how to defend himself and to know his worth. A friend of Joshua's from school invited Joshua to a buddy day class and we were hooked.

     Since starting taekwondo, Joshua's overall attitude has improved. He has more coordination, he is more confident, his school work has improved, and most of all he is coming out of his shell. He still struggles with communication daily but he has come so far. Joshua was very limited in his speech until he was four years old, so to see him in class raising his hand to answer questions in front of everyone or at a tournament in center ring or bowing everyone in, it is like he is a completely different kid. Josh has done so well in all aspects of his life since starting taekwondo. He is better able to process and handle his emotions and has started to get comfortable with regulars at the studio.

     Joshua's goals are to get his sparring jump kicks to the head down better, to get his Korean and American splits all the way down, and to hold two State Champion titles in one season. Our goals for Joshua are for him to continue to grow as a person and an athlete in the sport of taekwondo. Thank you for allowing us to share a little bit of this amazing man with you all at Champions Martial Arts!