IDEA Robindale’s Power of Inclusion in Sports

BROWNSVILLE (ValleyCentral, TX) — Local families applaud IDEA Public Schools students and staff for making students with autism feel part of the school community.

“My favorite sports are golf and basketball because whether they help my teammates or not,” said Matthew Leos, a ninth grader with autism IDEA Robindale.

He loves to play sports and his parents make sure that his voice is heard and give him the opportunity to participate in school-related activities, including sports, just like everyone else.

“What I love about basketball is being able to support my teammates,” Leos said.

IDEA Athletic Coordinator Jose Garcia says Matthew has been part of the sports team for many years.

“It’s important for everyone to be in the group. Being inclusive allows us to bring everyone within the team within the family,” said Garcia.

IDEA Public Schools aren’t the only school districts that have embraced inclusion in sports. The Brownsville Independent School District began implementing the Zarya Act and held an interschool basketball league.

The law, which will be passed in 2021, will involve the creation of a comprehensive sports program by the University Interscholastic League, so students like Matthew will have the opportunity to experience the thrill of competing in sports.

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