AUGUSTA – The 6th Annual Maine Autism Fair is being held at the Augusta Civic Center from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.Â Saturday, Oct. 9 and will feature exhibitions, workshops, and a performance by Addie Bowden, an 11-year-old karate yellow belt with autism.
Addie Bowden was introduced to karate last year when a demonstration by the Maine Isshinryu Karate Academies was given at her school. Bowden was selected to participate in the demonstration and was easily able to break a board. Although her parents were encouraging, they were cautious and had concerns about the complexity of karate and how she would be received by her peers in the class. Addieâ€™s natural ability and enthusiasm won out.
In under a year, Bowden went from no karate experience to receiving a yellow belt, a feat that is hard to achieve for anyone but could have proved difficult for someone with a neurological disorder affecting communication.
â€śWorking with Addie has changed the way I approach instructing, it has made me a better instructor on every level,â€ť said Bowdenâ€™s instructor, Sensei Matt Noyes. â€śIâ€™m very proud of her.â€ť
During a typical karate class, most techniques are done in groups and repeated over and over. Over the last eight months Noyes occasionally guided Addie through the moves and channeled her visual strengths by using a mirror.
â€śIâ€™ve watched Addieâ€™s achievements inside the classroom carry outside in various areas of her life, it has answered questions that have worried me since her diagnosis in 2001,â€ť said Bowdenâ€™s mother Heidi Bowden. â€śWe see her maturing and challenging herself daily.â€ť
Addie will be giving karate demonstrations throughout the day at the 6th Maine Autism Resource Fair. For more information please call 207-626-3042 or visit www.maeproject.org.
Contact Name: Heidi Bowden
Telephone Number: (207)626-3042