HONOLULU (KHON2) – Taylor Duncan started the alternative baseball organization in 2016. Since then, he’s created change and opportunity for those with autism on and off the field.
The 24-year-old was inspired by his own experiences to provide an outlet for teens and adults with autism.
“I was diagnosed with autism 20 years ago at the age of 4 and I had speech issues, sensory issues, anxiety issues growing up,” said Taylor Duncan, CEO of Alternative Baseball Organization. “My mother helped me through a lot of obstacles, but I wanted those same traditional opportunities like everyone else to play traditional baseball.”
Duncan says opportunities in sports weren’t always there for him growing up.
“Because of the constant perception and social stigma I faced, I was often denied those opportunities. They thought I was an injury risk, I was a safety risk and all this other stuff and none of that is true. All anyone with autism needs is the support to succeed.”
Since the birth of Alternative Baseball, Duncan has been able to support hundreds of athletes in over 17 states and 40 programs across the country.
“We accept everyone for who they are and encourage them to be all they can be and instill confidence to fulfill dreams on and off the baseball diamond as well.”
Alternative Baseball is open to those with autism 15 years and older. Now, Duncan hopes to create those same opportunities for athletes in Hawaii.
“So not only can we do it in Honolulu, we can do it in Waikiki, we can do it in Waianae. We can do it in all these other different places, Maui, all these other different places. As long as we find the coach, managers help us get these new programs off the ground and started.”
Duncan says he’s looking for volunteers, coaches and managers that will support local athletes to be the best they can be.
“There’s room for lots of growth so whether they’re in Hawaii, whether they’re in Alaska, whether they’re in the mainland. Everyone deserves to play traditional baseball without fear of judgement.”
To learn more about how you can get involved with alternative baseball, click here.
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