Archery has given Carson his voice.
When Carson was 2 years old, he lost his words. He was a typical child hitting all his milestones until one day it all changed. All the words he spoke went away. He was diagnosed with Autism. We were told by a medical team that he would most likely not be able to retain information and would not be able to verbalize more than 30 words.
In that moment our dreams of Carson’s future were unknown. His Dad is part of Huntington’s Hall of Fame where he was a football star. And me, his mom had a love for sports and singing on stage. We decided that we were not giving up and we were going to do whatever we could to help Carson live a FULL , productive and happy life.
Carson went to many therapy sessions, where he made great strides! We leaned on our church family to pray for his future. Carson started school and had a full time aide to help him through his days. Speech therapy and occupational therapy were key. He struggled with touch. He didn’t like physical activity. Which basically turned him away from sports.
Carson now stands at 6’5” with the build of a lineman on the football field.
In Carson’s gym class he was introduced to archery. He decided to attend a summer camp where his gym teacher was the instructor. His interest in archery began!
When Carson started archery, I remember sitting at tournaments and praying that God would calm his nerves and that he wouldn’t finish last place. He would cry with frustration, and it was difficult to watch.
We knew archery was teaching him so much more than just playing a sport. It gives him a competitive spirit, which is something we had never seen in him before. He has learned to communicate with his coaches and fellow archers, and he has found passion for something that he truly loves. He has pride in his skill. Archery has been an amazing journey so far, and he has even finished in the top 30 in some tournaments.
He has been an archer for Huntington Archery for 4 years. He is currently in 9th grade, on the all A honor roll. He is an Autism Awareness Ambassador and has raised over $10,000 for Autism Research.
The support from ALL of the teams is incredible and we are so blessed to be part of the NASP® community. Archery has given Carson a voice in more ways than one.