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Colorado Springs non-profit gymnastics class teaches special needs kids

gift of gym

According to recent reports, one in every 59 children are now on the Autism spectrum. In the Pikes Peak region alone about 18,000 people have some form of disability. Now, a local Colorado Springs gym has started a program to keep kids moving and learning by doing. 

Every Saturday morning, coaches at Precizion 509 Gymnastics lead a class of foster kids and those with special needs around the gymnasium.

They tumble and balance and connect with others. The non-profit class is called "The Gift of Gym", and to parents like Chris Grate that's exactly what it's been. 

"Since [my son] started he definitely has made a lot of progress. Less fears about doing things, more focused on doing things," Grate said. 

The class started in February and gym owner Luke Barfield says the response was immediate. 

"We had two classes maxed-out within a week," says Barfield. "It's good for them to have the challenges and overcome them. Build some confidence and have someone who cares about them."

Autism rates are on the rise, and he says parents are looking for ways to help their children prepare for a future in school and in life.

Because The Gift of Gym is a non-profit, local businesses help sponsor the program and individuals donate to help with tuition. 

Divina Cain a 6-year-old and has Down Syndrome. Her father Aaron says his daughter can do anything -- sometimes it just takes her a little extra time.

These parents say the class is wonderful for their kids, but it's also good for them to meet other parents and cheer each other on. 

Kristen Skovira

Kristen is a reporter and an anchor for the weekend evening newscasts. You can learn more about Kristen here.