JHU Takes Down Autism

From Johns Hopkins Sports Information

BALTIMORE, MD – Johns Hopkins wrestling coach Keith Norris and seniors Eric Levenseller, Rocky Barilla and Robbie Nedbor-Gross recently presented Dr. Rebecca Landa, the Director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, with a check for $3,022.50 to complete the Blue Jays’ Takedowns for Autism initiative for the 2010-11 season.

The Blue Jays used their dual meets during the 2010-11 season to launch their efforts against autism with their “Takedowns for Autism” program. Members of the team and coaching staff sought donations for each takedown the team compiled during its 19 dual meets with various levels of support available. The team accumulated 184 takedowns in its duals meets during the season with the total donation checking in at just over $3,000.

Today the odds of a child being diagnosed with Autism is 1-in-110. With that in mind, the team established a goal of 110 takedowns during the dual meet season, a mark the Blue Jays far exceeded in a season that ended with a program-best second-place finish at the Centennial Conference Championships. JHU also posted a 5-2 record in Centennial Conference duals meets.
Members of the team also volunteered their time throughout the year at Kennedy Krieger and local schools working with children with autism. In fact, the team recently spent the day at St. Elizabeth School. St. Elizabeth School is a nonpublic, coeducational, special education day program located in Baltimore City that serves students who are 10 to 21 years of age and are diagnosed with autism, autism spectrum disorders and other health impairments. The team was able to teach wrestling moves and interacted with the students in a positive way.

“Takedowns for Autism was a positive experience for everyone involved,” Norris noted. “We are excited that we were able to partner with and support the Kennedy Krieger Center for Autism and Related Disorders and also added a few fans for our team as well. Without question the best part was watching our team interact with the students at St. Elizabeth School. The impact this had on the young men representing the Johns Hopkins wrestling program is immeasurable.”

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) at Kennedy Krieger Institute is a multi-faceted, multidisciplinary program for children with autism spectrum disorders and their family members. CARD combines research, clinical (assessment and intervention) services, as well as community outreach and training to help improve the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorders, their families, and the community who cares for them. CARD endorses a flexible approach to treatment, adjusting the core set of methods used and goals of intervention to meet the needs of each child and his or her family.