Ethan Fineshriber, an 11-year-old boy from Utah, USA, who was diagnosed with autism at age three, has beaten all odds to win a world championship title in martial arts.
According to Today News, it was difficult for the young boy to communicate with people until he started practising Taekwondo, which helped him come out of his shell.
His mother, Mara Fineshriber, said, “He had no interest in interacting with his peers and was content spending hours in his room alone, building stuff. As his mom, you can imagine how much this killed me.”
She took him to a local American Taekwondo Association (ATA) martial arts school when he was a lonely seven- year-old that had no one to play with and was not getting invited to birthday parties.
Surprisingly, the 11-year-old began to enjoy himself, stopped being angry at his mum for forcing him to leave his room, and excelled at the the Korean martial art.
He said, “When I started doing taekwondo, not only did I become more athletic, but it helped me make friends and become more social.”
The young boy discovered his passion for teaching when the kids in his class began approaching him to ask for help with certain techniques, reports Today News. He then started posting tutorials on Instagram, which fetched him 4,000 followers on the social media site.
“I just love explaining things to people and feel good knowing I’m able to help them improve,” Ethan said.
When his instructors noticed his impressive skills, they suggested that he compete nationally. He took first place at his first national tournament in March 2013, and the instructors again approached his mom to say that he had the potential to win a World Championship.
After three years of training, sometimes 20 hours a week, Ethan achieved his goal in early July at the ATA World Championship in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA.
The young boy, who can now boast of friends he made through school and Taekwondo, is grateful to his instructors for helping him improve his social skills.
He said, “They taught me life lessons like how to be nice to people and show respect to others so they’ll want to be my friend. I’m very grateful to them for that.”
Photo credit: Mara Fineshriber
Tags: Ethan Fineshriber, Inspirational, Inspiring, Mara Fineshriber
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Congrats to him
Keep it up lovely boy
Awwww congratulations to him.
awww so sweet
Such an amazing gentleman, didn’t allow the condition define him
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