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Kids kicking autism with karate

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PARAGOULD (KATV) - A Paragould martial arts facility is kicking autism with karate.

ATA Martial Arts Owner Theresa Anderson said she not only encourages kids with autism to join her studio, she also incorporates them into classes with students who don't have disabilities.

"It's pretty much the same teaching everyone," Anderson said. "And that, I think, is the key to teaching kids with any kind of disability: we don't treat them different and they really excel in that way."

Tricia Arnold, the mother of a student with Asperger's and ADHD, said of her son, "We've seen his grades improve. We've seen him, you know, making more friends when he wasn't making friends before."

Arnold said the classes teach her son lessons beyond self-defense, including discipline, good manners and self respect.