An autistic teen named Jason McElwain made the most of his chance to shine.

How long before this is a movie of the week or even a feature film?


  1. #1 Dave S.
    February 26, 2006

    Great story.

    Now, compare this kid to say a Bode Miller. There is no comparison. Anyone can see who the real sportsman is.

  2. #2 Tara Mobley
    February 26, 2006

    If they do make it a Movie of the Week it’ll be some horrible saccharine mess that actually takes away from the accomplishment.

  3. #3 Ali
    February 26, 2006

    I just ran across this link, too. If they did it right (which they wouldn’t), it would make one hell of a film.

  4. #4 Todd Crane
    February 26, 2006

    This is a great story. To see Jason’s teammates and classmates go wild is just so much fun.

  5. #5 anon_autism
    February 26, 2006

    I look forward to the day when people like me who have autism-spectrum disorders stop getting treated like we’re retards, or deserving of pity or tear-jerker ‘hero teen’ focus pieces.

  6. #6 Ali
    February 26, 2006

    to anon: I think the aspect to me that was ‘tear-jerking’ wasn’t pity I felt for him, but rather the compassion and comaraderie shown by those who know him.

  7. #7 Ali
    February 26, 2006

    er, camaraderie, even.

  8. #8 GrrlScientist
    February 26, 2006

    wow. that’s all i have to say. just .. wow.

  9. #9 Camille
    February 26, 2006

    I cried when I watched that video. I started getting teary eyed just thinking about his cheering section and how sweet he is.

    I have an Asperger’s diagnosis and my ASD kid is quite disabled in a several ways, but xe has that same wonderful attitude that Jason displayed.

    That attitude is pure gold.

    It would be great if that sort of camaraderie we saw was common instead of being so uncommon that it might make the national TV news.

    As for the TV movie. They’d ruin it, most likely. Maybe if Stephen Spielberg (out as Asperger’s) directed it…

  10. #10 Kristjan Wager
    February 27, 2006

    I wasn’t aware that Spiegelberg was out as an Asperger’s.

  11. #11 Matthew Sawyer
    February 27, 2006
  12. #12 Matthew Sawyer
    February 27, 2006
  13. #13 Matthew Sawyer
    February 27, 2006

    …and because I guess I have to say it, wow. I saw the link on MeFi little while ago, and it’s very impressive, and inspirational in a way in which most “inspirational” things utterly fail to be.

  14. #14 Mephisto
    February 27, 2006

    Why is it so surprising that he should be good at basketball? He has autism, not a physical disability.

    The rules of the game are clearly within his grasp and he isn’t so effected by his condition that he finds it difficult to operate in a high-pressure sporting environment. So why all the pats on the back?

    I think far more than cheering, that kid would probably like to be treated normally. It shouldn’t be a big thing that he was invited to take part – the question is, why did it take so long?

    We need to stop treating people with mental disabilities, especially in the much-misunderstood area of autism/aspergers, as though they are invalids. In fact, they’re quite capable of operating normally in most respects.

    Well done to the kid for taking the pressure. Boo to the coach for thinking he’s doing the kid a favour, as opposed to his dues.

  15. #15 TheProbe
    February 27, 2006

    This story was on ESPN this morning and I watched it with my wheelchair basketball playing son. He thought it was pretty cool.

    The reason Jason did not play until the last game was because he was too SHORT for the varsity, not because of his autism. There is this impression that all basketball players have to look like Shaq (who stunk last Wednesday night when we were at the Garden).

    What was most impressive was that Jason’s classmates were right there with him and that he was clearly a well accepted member of the team. There was no negative reaction when the coach put him in.

    When my son tried to get involved with our home district’s sports program, he would have been happy to hand out towels, he never received a return call. One of the myriad of reasons he is in an utterly fantastic special school.

  16. #16 Anne
    February 27, 2006

    On Susan Senator’s blog, a teacher at Jason’s school explains that the six 3-pointers were not the result of Jason’s skill, but of divine intervention. The teacher says:

    “He has tried out for the team every year and has not made it because his basketball skills are just not that of a varsity basketball player. … The fact that he made 6 3-pointers is a miracle. I don’t believe he could ever do it again. I believe that god gave him a chance to shine and an expereince that can carry him through the rest of his life with confidence and a continued love of being involved.”

    Read the entire post here.

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