Charlottesville Gym Offers Classes for Students with Autism

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A partnership between The Little Gym and the Virginia Institute of Autism is opening new doors for some of its students.

Martha Grasty says, when her grandson Pierce used to come to The Little Gym in Charlottesville, he stood out from the other kids. "If there was a group of children going around in a circle with the parachute, he was under the parachute, not on the circle," Grasty said.

Three years later, Pierce’s family knows he has autism and things are different at the gym. Pierce, a student at VIA, is part of a new gymnastics class for kids with autism.

"Just to have him be part of a regular world, that's what's so important,” Grasty said.

The 45-minute class starts off slow, with students getting to know each other. Then it gets right into the gymnastics moves.

"Community is very important to us making sure that all little children in Charlottesville are able to come and witness and enjoy being able to get physical and develop those skills necessary to grow and be successful later on,” said Sarah Oliva, owner of The Little Gym.

Enrollment is now open for the course. It's open to all children with autism, not just those who attend VIA.

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