All photography provided by Life by Roxy
Shelley and my (Roxy) son, Jude, is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Being Shelley's son, Jude showed a natural ability (and love of) Soccer. As soon as he was 18 months old, we signed him up for Toddler Soccer. At first, it was okay. As he got older, it became more and more challenging. He was nonverbal at the time, and had huge sensory hurdles. There came a point where every class involved tears, fleeing the scene, and many tears. The environment was just not working for him. We couldn't fix it. We found it overwhelming ourselves and we aren't two years old. We carried a secret sadness that our son might not ever play soccer on a team. Of course, we don't want to shove our dreams on him, but we knew he loved it; more so, he was GOOD at it. After months of talking about it, the perfect location sort of fell into our laps with the generosity of some very good and passionate people. Not only is the facility itself a better environment, but now we are going to take it into our owns hands to customize the environment even more for our son and anyone who wants to join us. Our Occupational Therapist, and good friend, Katie, has joined us in founding and facilitating this endeavor. She shares a love for our children, and a passion for this program, that is unmatched. Our mission is to provide an environment for our spectrum and sensory kids in which they are accepted, understood, and THRIVE. And they will! They'll learn a thing or two about soccer, and skills will be enhanced, but more importantly, the friendships formed will be invaluable. We are very passionate about this program, about OUR kids, and we look forward to getting to know all of you!
Pediatric Occupational Therapist and Soccer Enthusiast!
Katie has been working in health care for 10 years. She has experience working as a Strength and Conditioning Coach for youth, adults, and professional athletes, an exercise physiologist for Cardiac, Cancer and pulmonary rehabilitation programs, an international health educator and teacher in the Peace Corps, and a licensed massage therapist for 11 years.
She graduated with her Masters in Occupational Therapy from Winston Salem State University in 2013. Katie has worked as an OT with pediatrics in a psychiatric hospital and a private pediatric clinic specializing in sensory processing disorders. She has volunteered in pediatric settings including Easter Seals UCP Charlie Gaddy Children’s Center and the Children’s Center Public School of Forsyth County gaining invaluable experience working with children of all ages.
Katie has worked with community youth programs for 11 years focusing on life skills and social justice. She enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, playing kickball, hiking, and enjoying parks and festivals in the Raleigh area.
She's pretty much the bees knees.
Meet Shelley! (He goes by his last name.)
Shelley is an Autism Dad, soccer player of 30+ years, captain, and coach! (as well as loyal fan of the professionals)
He will be your primary coach. Shelley has played soccer for over 30 years, coached kids at the YMCA, and captained adult recreational teams. He currently plays for an adult recreational league in Raleigh. He likes soccer...A LOT.
Shelley is very loving and patient with children, especially those with extraordinary abilities. He lights up around them.
We won't call out his team of choice as to not step on any toes, but let's just say our dog is even named after his favorite team (or club?).
Meet Roxy! (other half to Shelley and mom to Jude)
Roxy is an Autism Mom. Roxy is the one behind the computer (and phone), answering your emails, sending you emails, maintaining a website, ordering supplies, paying bills, and all of those wonderful multi-tasking things! Roxy is also an assistant coach to Oak City Soccer. In addition, she is a photographer. She wears many hats (and frequently, spit up and general toddler stickiness).