Lufkin gym forming team for children with special needs - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Lufkin gym forming team for children with special needs

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LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

 SFA cheerleader Abby McCarty has been on staff at the Academy of Gymnastics and Dance for six years.

Now she's using her passion for cheer to create a team specifically for children with special needs.

"She said we've always wanted to but never had anybody to take the initiative to do it and she said take the reins and its all yours," said McCarty.

Eight-year-old Axel Minguez has Autism and his mother Majal says this will be his first time to participate in an extracurricular activity.

"There's really nothing here in our area for our kids, our special needs kids," said Minguez.

McCarty says she's had passion for special needs since high school and is studying to become a special education teacher.

"In high school we worked with Special Olympics and that opened my eyes and I just feel in love with it," said McCarty.

During gymnastics class students will learn communication, motor, skills and social interaction.

 "They'll do jumps and tumbling and stunts and pyramids and it will all be modified to what they can do," said McCarty.

Minguez describes her son as very active and hopes gymnastics will be the perfect activity to harness his energy.

"I'm very excited, I really don't know how he would do but he loves music and he loves to dance," said Minguez.

 McCarty says a special needs team is long overdue.

"It makes me sad that they've never had anything in our area like this, so I'm really excited," said McCarty.   

 And she hopes the new cheer and gymnastics classes will give children like Axel the chance to enjoy the spotlight.

The class will start next week and costs $15 dollars a month. For more information contact the Academy of Gymnastics and Dance at 936-637-3547.

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