Saturday, November 16, 2013

Alex and Jamie Schneider

Autism Lights #317 are Alex and Jamie Schneider.

Alex and Jamie Schneider are 23 year old identical twins from New York who have autism. Alex and Jamie received national attention for their inspiring story of running in races as individuals with autism. Their family has developed a website on their accomplishments in life called Autism Runners. Alex and Jamie Schneider are Autism Lights for the way in which their running raises awareness for autism and the successful interests those with autism can have.

Alex and Jamie Schneider have prepared for and competed in over 130 races since they began their interest in running at age 8, including most recently the New York City Marathon on November 3, 2013. They ran the 2013 New York City Marathon to raise funds for the Association for Science in Autism Treatment. The following is a news story from ABC News about Alex and Jamie Schneider's participation in the New York City Marathon in 2013.

ABC US News | ABC Business News

Alex and Jamie are both nonverbal and because of the severity of their place on the autism spectrum, a guide runs with them in races to help if necessary with the variety of potential obstacles that might take place on a run outside. Both Alex and Jamie look forward to running in races and have their own styles. Alex is the faster runner and is coached by Kevin McDermott and Stephen Dalton. Jamie really enjoys the experience of a leisurely pace as he runs and is coached by his father Allan Schneider. Allan Schneider says about Jamie, "I'll explain to people, there's not a lot I can share with him, but when we're running, it's an unspoken language (ABC News)."

The twins' mother Robyn Schneider offers a reason to The New York Times why her sons enjoy running so much as individuals with autism. Robyn Schneider says, "They thrive on repetition and routine of racing. You finish, get a medal, high-five everyone at the finish line and go home (Autistic Twins Find a Release in Running, New York Times)."

Robyn Schneider said this about the days her sons race.
Race day is always a special and exciting day for us all. My emotions are high as I wait impatiently at the finish line. I watch first, for Alex, and then Jamie.  And as they each approach the finish line, my heart pounding rapidly; I tearfully cheer, and think of how proud I am of their accomplishments.  After the race, as we celebrate among the crowd of runners, many will approach them and offer congratulations and high fives. How grateful we are that we have discovered the gift of running (Autism Runners)!
Other Activities: Alex and Jamie participate in other activities, including horseback riding, fitness exercise, bicycling, swimming, and learning piano (Beyond Running, Autism Runners).

High School Graduation: Alex and Jamie Schneider's life included academics as well as running. Alex and Jamie Schneider graduated in June, 2011, from the Genesis School, a private school in Long Island, New York for children with autism. They also were able to walk in the graduation ceremony with their neurotypical peers at Great Neck South High School in June, 2011.  Here is a video of Alex and Jamie Schneider receiving their diploma.

Social Media: You can follow Alex and Jamie's accomplishments on the YouTube Channel of Autism Runners.

Special thanks to Alex and Jamie Schneider for being Autism Lights. Their successful experience in running offers another light on autism awareness. We hope that Alex and Jamie will keep on running. 

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations to two fine young men. Good luck to them in the future. Applause for Mom and Dad also.