Jason McElwain (J-Mac)
Won the ESPY Award in 2006 as the Best Moment of the Year
Diagnosed: Young Age
On February 15, 2006, in Greece-Athena High School in Rochester, New York Jim Johnson inserted his high school basketball manager, Jason (J-Mac) McElwain in to play the final four minutes of the team’s senior night game. McElwain, who has autism and was coming in to play his first-ever minutes of competitive high school basketball, scored six three-pointers and one two-pointer to end up with 20 points. I would encourage you to watch the video on Youtube sometime because it is pretty great.
Symptoms, Reaction, and Treatment
- Significant problems developing communication skills
- Failure to establish friendships with children the same age.
- Lack of interest in sharing interests, or achievements with other people
- Delay in, or lack of, learning to talk
- A need for sameness and routines
- Preoccupation with certain topics
- Behavior training
- Specialized Therapists
- Family and community supports
Jason went to a special school for a number of years as a young child and then his curiosity got the best of him and asked his parents. They responded and told him he did have autism. This didn't stop or slow him down at all. He just wanted to be like all the other kids and to have the same opportunities. In high school, he tried out for the JV team but failed to make it on. His coach though let him manage all the games and on senior night is when he played his first competitive minutes of a games. No one realized the impact that would be made that night.