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KARATE HELPS CHILD WITHIN TO EMERGE.

Byline: Mariko Thompson Staff Writer

Jenny Sukys needed a social activity for her 10-year-old son Jackson. But it wasn't easy finding a program that both engaged Jackson's interest and was open to children with developmental disabilities developmental disabilities (DD),
n.pl the pathologic conditions that have their origin in the embryology and growth and development of an individual. DDs usually appear clinically before 18 years of age.
.

Jackson has autism autism (ô`tĭzəm), developmental disability resulting from a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain. It is characterized by the abnormal development of communication skills, social skills, and reasoning. , a neurological disorder Noun 1. neurological disorder - a disorder of the nervous system
nervous disorder, neurological disease

disorder, upset - a physical condition in which there is a disturbance of normal functioning; "the doctor prescribed some medicine for the disorder";
 that has become increasingly common over the last two decades for reasons that are not yet known. After learning that Fred Villari's Studios of Self-Defense in Glendale welcomed children with developmental disabilities, Sukys enrolled her son in karate. Jackson has worked his way up to a blue belt with one green stripe.

``It's teaching him things that will get him through life - self-esteem and all that stuff,'' Sukys says. ``A black belt would be a real accomplishment. I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)

"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party.
 if he can get there, but he wants to.''

Armen Heroian, the studio's chief instructor and regional director, offers semi-private lessons and a group class for children with developmental disabilities over the age of 7. In the classes, the kids start with meditation, then practice new moves and spar.

``We develop a positive image for them and build up the confidence so they can fit into the mainstream,'' Heroian says.

Autism can range from mild to severe and often is marked by impaired language skills, difficulty in social interaction and repetitive behaviors.

Sukys learned about Fred Villari's studio through the Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center, serving the Hollywood, Pasadena, Burbank and Glendale areas. The state's 21 nonprofit regional centers provide information on community resources for children with developmental disabilities, such as mental retardation mental retardation, below average level of intellectual functioning, usually defined by an IQ of below 70 to 75, combined with limitations in the skills necessary for daily living. , cerebral palsy cerebral palsy (sərē`brəl pôl`zē), disability caused by brain damage before or during birth or in the first years, resulting in a loss of voluntary muscular control and coordination. , epilepsy and autism.

Patricia Herrera, the center's director of family support services support services Psychology Non-health care-related ancillary services–eg, transportation, financial aid, support groups, homemaker services, respite services, and other services , says recreational programs such as karate aren't a replacement for traditional therapy, but they provide a valuable social outlet for these children.

``We see it as a socially inclusive type of activity,'' Herrera says. ``It's very important for children to feel a sense of belonging in the community.''

For more information:

Fred Villari's Studios of Self-Defense, (818) 957-7544

Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center, (213) 383-1300

For a listing of all 21 of the state's regional centers, visit www.dds.cahwnet.gov/rc/RCinfo.cfm

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

Karate master Armen Heroian works with Jackson Sukys, 10, left, and Ian Bates Bates   , Katherine Lee 1859-1929.

American educator and writer best known for her poem "America the Beautiful," written in 1893 and revised in 1904 and 1911.
, 9, at Fred Villari's Studios of Self-Defense in Glendale.

John McCoy/Staff Photographer
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 17, 2004
Words:383
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