PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Kids and adults are learning how to play tennis through the Love Serving Autism organization. Lisa Pugliese-LaCroix is the founder.
"We provide specialized therapeutic tennis instruction including behavioral therapy speech and occupational physical therapy for children and adults with autism," she said. "We have 18 locations in Florida and we have four out-of-state programs as the summer."
Though the organization offers tennis classes to those on the spectrum year round, this week it's a holiday camp at the Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center.
"I do think that the consistency of a routine such as tennis or school environment I do think that it helps to decrease anxiety and it increases their general well-being," said Pugliese-LaCroix.
Now the organization is on a mission to get funding from Tallahassee to expand their services to help more people on the spectrum in addition to adding staff.
Samie Lesperance is a tennis coach for Love Serving Autism.
"Funding would go to build the facility so we first need to get that started," said Lesperance. "Lisa is looking to have some clay courts, some hard courts and then some pickleball courts."
Andrew Breines is a parent. His son Noah likes the program.
"First thing it is socialization, because if we weren't here we would probably be at home with mommy and his sister. He seems to really enjoy it. He loves Lisa. And when I showed him the shirt that we had from last time this morning, he was all excited to come," said Breines. "And that was great. Every time we come up anywhere near this way, he's always looking to see if we are pulling in here."
For more information about the organization click here.