HOUSTON – 25-year-old Taylor Duncan is breaking barriers for individuals with autism and special needs through his favorite sport.
He’s the founder and director of the Alternative Baseball Organization, and he spoke about this inspiring initiative available for teens and adults in the Houston area. The reason behind this project comes from his personal experience.
“I was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at the age of 4. Having developmental delays at an early age, I was often denied opportunities to play competitive, traditional baseball with others my age. Through the years, my mother and other mentors helped me break through those obstacles I had growing up, speech, sensory, anxiety issues, but I would still face the same negative perceptions of what one with autism can and cannot accomplish,” said Duncan, who remembered how he would often be benched or cut from teams.
The Georgia native kept playing and then decided to create an inclusive project for everyone who wishes to play on the ball field.
“I started it after having positive experiences through the years going to training camps from Louisville to Orlando. I wanted to pass off those same characters and social building opportunities I had to others just like myself; many of whom wouldn’t have opportunities in their area due to the lack of services available after high school graduation or to fit their appropriate needs to continue their path toward independence,” said Duncan.
#StuffWeShouldCancel The negative stigma and bullying surrounding those with disabilities! When we are given the opportunity to try and succeed, we can achieve just about anything we set our minds to! -T. Duncan pic.twitter.com/ZwFiBRqDSo— Alternative Baseball (@abobaseball) April 5, 2021
Alternative Baseball provides an authentic baseball experience for teens and adults (ages 15+) and gives them so much more than a chance to exercise and have fun.
“It gives them an outlet for social and physical enrichment; to build teamwork skills, and friendships for life on and off the baseball diamond,” he said.
The Alternative Baseball Organization has clubs throughout 33 states and is looking for volunteers, coaches, and players of all experience levels to start serving the Greater Houston area.
If you or a loved one wishes to participate, you can connect with them here.
To watch Duncan’s complete interview, watch the video above.