Baseball continues to bring my son with autism and his brother together

My son’s baseball teammates continue to learn about autism awareness. And empathy.

By The Strode Family
Dylan and Blake at their baseball game

This guest blog is an update to a 2019 blog by the Strobe Family. Brothers Dylan and Blake still have a strong tie to baseball. And still spread autism awareness at baseball games. 

Our youngest son Dylan, was approximately 2 1/2 years old, he was officially diagnosed with autism. Our oldest son Blake was 4 years old when Dylan was born. He immediately took on the role of best friend/big brother, always playing with Dylan, entertaining him, communicating for him when he couldn’t (Dylan didn’t really speak until he was 3).  Dylan has always been a little different, and Blake has never missed out on an opportunity to teach his friends and others about his little brother and what autism is and what makes him unique and special.

Blake began playing T-ball at 5 years old, and has played with our local Viera Suntree Little League since. Blake's All Star Little League team made it to the Junior League World Series. Dylan enjoys going to Blake’s baseball games and watching his big brother play.  

It was over 5 years ago, when we got Blake The Autism Speaks Glove. And it continues to this day to be a real conversation starter. 

Two brothers stand to throw out the first pitch

Dylan is doing great and my other sons varsity baseball team is doing another autism night this year.

Blake is now a senior in high school and his high school tam is organizing an autism awareness night at the end of April.

His teammates even wear autism puzzle piece stickers on their helmets.

These boys on the team are going to have navigate autism one day. They are going to be fathers of kids on the spectrum or have a family member on the spectrum. And Dylan and Blake’s bond helps them understand a bit more. And helps to grow empathy.

A man in a green baseball jersey stands with a bat
Photo Credit: Desiree Angelle Photography 

Blake’s teammates are going to be dads one day. And they going to come across autism directly or indirectly. Like they are going to be fathers of kids on the spectrum or have a family member on the spectrum.  And Dylan and Blake’s bond helps them understand a bit more. And helps to grow empathy. And the glove really helped that conversation get going.

A few years ago, Dylan was selected by our local High School to throw out the first pitch at a Varsity Baseball game in April for Autism Awareness night. Blake and Dylan were invited to go out to the pitchers mound and with Blake’s coaching and help, Dylan threw out the first pitch. He was so excited when the crowd cheered for him!  

Now Blake as a senior still gets to throw out the opening pitch with Dylan, so some things don’t change. 

But other changes do happen. 

Dylan wasn’t really speaking until age 5. And now he won’t stop talking. ABA has helped Dylan with social skills. Early intervention helped Dylan on his journey so much. 

Blake is like old soul, he’s more the adult than we are. We sometimes joke that he is the third parent. He’s part of the therapy sessions too. 

Blake will be going away to university next year, about an hour away. Dylan is nervous about Jake being away. So to help ease the transition the family for a goldendoodle called Callie.

Blake’s team will be having another high school autism awareness game at the end of April.

The family is less worried about Dylan’s future every day. And the brothers will still always have the baseball connection. No matter what.

Wilson and its sister brands EvoShield and Louisville Slugger have committed to donating 10% of the purchase price of all Love the Moment products to Autism Speaks, with a minimum donation of $150,000 each year. 

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