What: UChicago Baseball vs. Benedictine University doubleheader (Autism Awareness Game)
When: Saturday, April 21. First pitch of Game 1 is at 12 p.m. CT.
Where: J. Kyle Anderson Field, Stagg Field Complex, 55th Street and Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637.
CHICAGO – The University of Chicago baseball team has teamed up with Twin Hearts Autism Foundation to host a special event during the Maroons' home doubleheader versus Benedictine University on Saturday, April 21.
The Maroons will take on the Eagles starting at noon CT at J. Kyle Anderson Field.
Before and during the game, the Maroons will honor and celebrate children with autism and their families in attendance and raise awareness about the developmental disability. They will also sell Maroons hats, with all proceeds going directly to Twin Hearts Autism Foundation.
"The work that the Twin Hearts Autism Foundation does on a daily basis for both Autistic children and their families is absolutely incredible," Maroons Head Coach John Fitzgerald said. "Their work has provided those aforementioned households with tools and resources to really help with an incredibly challenging life situation.
"The ability for the Maroon Baseball Program to help facilitate an event that will hopefully provide some joy for the children and bring many of these families together at J. Kyle Anderson Field is one that we could not pass up."
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral changes. There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people, but people with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others need less.
There is currently no cure for ASD, but research shows that early intervention treatment services can improve a child's development.
"Autism is significantly misunderstood and I think that it is incredibly important for our student-athletes to use their talents to help enrich our community, while also learning a great deal about the disease and some of the incredible talents and accomplishments that many of these children are able to showcase in their daily lives," added Fitzgerald. "While funding for a cure is always paramount, I think that education and interaction can be an incredible tool in fighting some of the prejudice and misunderstanding that affects many of these children on a daily basis."
Twin Hearts Autism Foundation is an Illinois nonprofit organization based in Frankfort, Ill. Its mission is to enrich the lives of children and adults with autism and other special needs by raising funds for individuals, organizations, schools, scholarships and family events related to autism and special needs communities.