At first you see the typical boy, running, jumping and totally into mischief. Playing with his brother, his dad and his mom. You look twice to take in the moment, the moment when the sun touches the stars and all is well and you notice something odd. For a split second the young man is not laughing, but seems far away. Little idosyncracies the untrained eye is unaware of, but to Ridge it is very real and completely consuming. It is
then you witness what early intervention teaches. It is that moment a loving mom, dad or brother gently reminding him that he has to work hard not to shut down, or act that way. It is that same moment you realize you are looking at a little boy with Autism. This is Ridge and he is the reason Champions exists.
Ridge is very lucky. His mother trained in the medical field saw those little idiocencracy as a warning sign. So with her heart completely exposed she knew that Ridge needed the help of doctors, therapists and early intervention. Ridge was lucky. With the knowledge his mom possessed and the hard work ethic his dad
maintained. The doors of therapy were opened wide. However, so many kids go unnoticed or are unable to afford medical attention, they struggle and suffer and never know exactly why. Ridge and his entire family jumped into action and began the long hours of learning, training and developing patterns to help cope with autism, and it shows. Because of their efforts, the untrained eye will only see a little boy.
Ridge is a shining star, a true little champion and through early intervention his star shines so much brighter. More days are spent being a little boy and less struggling with Autism. His family takes nothing for granted, aware that without early intervention they would be dealing with more problems than precious moments. Fleeting idiosyncrasies that now only remind them rather than define them. Greatful for the ability to be diagnosed early, the means to take the time to learn and the finances to make it all happen. Those hours of supervised training for Ridge and his family are paying off with great success. So many kids are just like Ridge, wanting to play, and laugh, simply wanting to just be a kid. Unfortunately these little champions can’t because they either are not diagnosed early or simply not diagnosed at all and if they are many families do not have the financial means to properly seek medical services, attend therapy or receive training.
Ridge is the heart of the foundation. His laugh, his humor, his zest for life has made this organization a labor of love. He is the purest, sweetest message, yet the biggest billboard we have. Ridge is autistic and he is wonderful. Autistic children and their families deserve those moments when the sun touches the stars, to run and to laugh and more importantly not be alone. Ridge and his family know why the foundation was started. They are reminded of those tough moments daily and remember when they were much more difficult. Join Champions today and help children just like Ridge who suffer with autism. Let them be recogonized as champions and just like Ridge maybe one day they can say “I am Autistic, I may have to work harder than most kids, but look at me, I am worth it".