Coping with Autism with A-Skate Article at Skatepark of Tampa

Coping with Autism with A-Skate

Posted on Tuesday, October 5, 2010 by Stalker

By Stalker Steve

Autism is an interesting condition. Most people's perception of it (mine included) comes largely from the movie Rain Man, a friend who has an autistic family member, or something similarly distant from any real working knowledge of autism. Looking into more information about autism to write this article, I learned that autism is a disease that affects the person's neurodevelopment. One interesting aspect of autism is that it largely affects a person's social interactions. They're socially deficit and have a hard time interacting with other people.

That being said, Chris Worley and Peter Karvonen from the A-Skate Foundation, a charity organization devoted to introducing skateboarding to autistic kids, came to the Park to host a clinic for any autistic kids interested in coming out. In addition to A-Skate's volunteer staff, we had several SPoT employees come out to lend a hand in helping some disadvantaged kids open up a bit socially. One autistic girl stepped off a board and I asked, "Are you having a good time?" To which she excitedly replied with uncontrollable laughter and giggling. All of the autistic kids we helped were ecstatic as soon as they were guided up and back down a ramp. They opened up to conversation, were genuinely happy, and were overall having a great time.

Chris and Peter have firsthand experience with the difficulties of life with autism. One of Chris' sons has autism. Both of them are passionate about helping people cope with a strange disease for which there is no readily available cure. For more information on how to get involved or to make a very worthwhile donation to a great organization, visit

Peter Karvonen is a skateboard businessman when he's not helping autistic kids. He's the Black Box rep and owns Faith Skate Supply in Birmingham. I asked if he wanted a pic and he replied, "Yeah, what about something dumb like a one footer back disaster?"
New Shop employee Aaron Austin was around helping with the kids. He's an old friend of mine and has been a ripping skater for as long as I've known him. Back tailslide before helping the kids.
Alex Biblioni helping a girl get on a board and overcome social difficulties.
Peter Karvonen helping a young buck get the gist of balancing on a board.
Tanner Hawkins from the Snack Bar helping a kid get down some banks.
Skater Profile: Tanner Hawkins
A fun and easy way to get down a ramp. Peter is happy to help.
Chris Worley flossing an A-Skate shirt. You can buy one of these as well as make a donation at
Justin Ryan from Innetech helping a kid with balance and stance on a board.
Skater Profile: Justin Ryan
Josh Wilson from the Snack Bar was talking to me and inadvertently threw the deuces up. I was lucky to paparazzi him and get the photo.
One of the A-Skate volunteers explaining how to get down a ramp.
This kid isn't one of the A-Skate kids, he's a SPoT local learning the mechanics of an ollie.
So he learned the ollie (sort of) and then posed for a photo with his Dad, Scott. Scott's the dude who built the 40 foot long railroad tie rail in between warehouses at the Park.
This girl had ramps down pat. She got down the pyramid second try.
Another A-Skate volunteer helping a kid learn how to go to fakie.
Just because we're here for charity doesn't mean we can't keep an old joke running. Foot fetish.
Take pride in your ride.
This family came out and had a great time. Hopefully we see them back at the Park soon.
Zay is sliding a front board. He came down with the A-Skate guys to help.


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