Special needs baseball organization looking to expand

A nationwide special needs organization is looking to leave its footprint on the Treasure Coast.

Alternative baseball relies on America’s favorite pastime to help teach life skills to those with intellectual disabilities.

“Alternative baseball provides the authentic baseball experience for teens and adults ages 15 years and older with autism and other disabilities,” said founder Taylor Duncan.

Duncan said to get things rolling, the teams need volunteers.

“We’ve got to find the coach and manager to help us run this on a local level so that we can ensure this is a success obviously,” said Duncan.

The nonprofit currently operates in 33 different states.

Duncan, who was diagnosed as on the autism spectrum at the age of 4, founded the organization five years ago in his home state of Georgia.

He’s hoping to power through perceptions by giving teens and young adults an experience he said he struggled to have grown up.

“We use these wood bats, and the only adaptation really is that the type of ball that we use,” said Duncan. “It’s slightly larger and much softer than a regulation-sized ball.”

With sights now set on forming a team in St. Lucie County, Duncan said players and coaches would either practice or play once a week.

He said the teams may occasionally travel to compete against other teams around the state.

“We kind of want to expand east so that somebody east of that area can have this opportunity,” said Duncan.

For those who choose to swing, it’s always a hit, helping to build confidence, connections and social skills.

“Once they get out there and actually try it, once they get out there and others, just like themselves, and know with a 110% certainty that they’re going to be accepted and encouraged in this environment, they love it,” said Duncan.

Anyone interested in signing up to play or coach, click here.