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 Good News: SRU student's idea brings help to Johnstown's autistic children� 



SRU Good News for Feb. 9, 2010


SRU student's idea brings help to Johnstown's autistic children        


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The Johnstown [Pa.] YMCA will soon be offering a program to autistic children to get them moving thanks to a suggestion and planning by Heather Grace, a Slippery Rock University exercise science major from Rockwood.

            The "Autism in Motion" program begins June 24 at the Y, according to a news story on

            The program will focus on getting youngsters to move through themed play such as western, outer space, racing and pirates for younger children and baseball, soccer, basketball and track and field for teenagers.

            The program was designed and suggested by Grace, said Debra Smith, fitness director.

"She had this unique experience and background," said Smith. "It led us to discussing it and deciding we wanted to offer a recreation-based program geared toward children with autism."

"Its main idea is to get children with autism and teens with autism more physically active," Grace said. By doing so, they will not only become healthier, but also improve social and living skills, she said.

"They will be able to do more living skills for themselves � be able to dress themselves and do essential things they may not have been able to do before," Grace said.

Grace plans to graduate in May. 


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives. 


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