These Twin Brothers Refuse To Let Autism Slow Them Down From Becoming Incredible Athletes
It’s unfortunate that in our society people with autism are viewed as less capable than those who don’t live with the disability. However, this is the furthest thing from true – and these twin brothers are proving just how powerful people with autism can be!
Alex And Jamie’s Life-Altering Diagnosis
At just 21 months old, the lives of Alex and Jamie Schneider were forever altered. After two years of behavior that strayed from the norm of toddlers, the twins were diagnosed with autism. Growing up, it certainly put a strain on their relationship with the world.
Following their diagnosis, their parents struggled to celebrate their sons as they missed out on major milestones. “Growing up… they had a lot of behaviors and it was really hard to communicate because neither of them is verbal,” Robyn shared. While they tried to normalize the world for them by encouraging various hobbies, nothing quite spoke to the twins. Then, one activity completely transformed their lives.
An Incredible, Empowering Discovery
At the age of 15, the twins discovered running. Robyn couldn’t believe how drastically the sport affected their morale. After years of entertaining hobbies like horseback riding, karate, swimming, and more, the boys fell in love with running. “We saw something different in them… it was really wonderful for us because we had never seen that before,” Robyn explained. And once Alex and Jamie got started, they couldn’t stop.
Alex soon joined his high school cross country team, and today, he completes half-marathons in just a little more than an hour! His parents are exuberantly proud, though they also beam over Jamie, who runs recreationally instead. The twins are incredibly impressive athletes, especially in the face of disability. Still, while running brings them peace, their family still struggles to support the brothers.
Overcoming Continued Struggles
Alex and Jamie still rely on their parents for a multitude of daily tasks. “Autism is a lifelong disability,” Robyn explained. “They’re still not communicative, so it’s even difficult today.” But despite the challenges the twins still face, their parents are grateful that running has given them such a sense of calm, happiness, and purpose.
The twins work hard, eat right, and have made incredible progress in their sport over the years. Robyn has seen them light up each time they go out for a run. This sense of accomplishment seems to make the struggles worth it. And while Alex and Jamie can’t currently run alone, their parents are more than happy to race with them to bring their sons some peace!
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