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Running Series Announced for Kids on the Autism Spectrum and Their Families

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There will now be a weekly series of walks and runs for children on the autism spectrum and their families in Staten Island. The program comes from Staten Island Borough President James Oddo, Assemblyman Michael Cusick, the New York Road Runners (NYRR) and Autism Speaks.

Oddo was inspired to launch the events after reading an article in Runner’s World about Rob Rueff, who went on daily runs with his autistic son Ryan and noticed a number of positive results, reported DNA Info.

Oddo announced the details of the event at a press conference on Thursday at the Staten Island Borough President’s Office. The first run/walk will take place on April 3 at Conference House Park, and the series will continue every Sunday after that. Families can RSVP online.

Announcing a new running program for families of children on the autism spectrum

Posted by Staten Island USA on Thursday, March 24, 2016


“This event is not about a love for fitness. Rather it’s about helping to further the relationship between the child and his or her parent,” Oddo said. “It’s about the child’s confidence and about potentially providing many other benefits so eloquently described by Rob Rueff. For some kids, like Ryan, it is running. For other kids it might be some other activity. Whatever the activity, we simply have to find creative ways to help put more of the pieces of this puzzle together through perhaps unexpected paths.”

“I think it’s going to have a tremendous impact on the children and their parents, too,” Michael Schnall, of New York Road Runners, said, according to Time Warner Cable News NY1. “I think the parents will benefit and it’s going to be a wonderful sort of opportunity to provide something that maybe wasn’t there before for this community.”

Originally published: March 25, 2016
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