Skip to main content

Autistic Twin Runners Make Strides at 2013 New York City Marathon

downloadAs runners are striding the 26.2 miles from Staten Island to Central Park for the 43rd annual New York City Marathon today, one family waiting at the finish line couldn’t be prouder of what their two sons are accomplishing. Identical twins Alex and Jamie Schneider, both 23, are severely autistic, but running has given them joy and relief from the frustrations of not being able to communicate. “[Alex ] is born to run. I have to cheat on the off-days when we don’t run together,” his running coach, Kevin McDermott, told ABC News. “I’ll sneak in four or five miles just so I can stay in good enough shape [to keep up with him].”  For Jamie Schneider, who runs with his dad, hitting the pavement is about the experience. Both boys have to run with the assistance of a guide, but when it comes to running styles, the twins approach the sport differently. “Jamie is so sensitive,” Allan Schneider said, “even if he sees you frowning on the phone, or someone frowns in the room, he picks up on it and gets very upset himself.” 

Jamie, who is less task-oriented, runs for pleasure. When feeling good, he likes to run races near young women on the course and high-five people at water stops. He lacks Alex’s speed, but he can easily run for more than six hours at a time, with energy to spare. Jamie is also prone to erratic behavior; sounds like the starter’s gun can startle him, so he listens to an iPod.

Alex is more focused and less hindered by tics and outbursts. He has the look of an elite runner: slim, sinewy legs and a relaxed but unflinching stare. He was competitive from the start, running his first marathon, the 2010 Hamptons Marathon, in 3 hours 27 minutes 47 seconds.

The twins are running for the Association for Science in Autism Treatment to raise money and awareness for the non-profit dedicated to the education and care of people with autism.“They don’t have a normal life, so [running] is something that really, I think, connects with them, and makes them happy,” Allan Schneider said.

Jamie Schneider,above, with his mother, Robyn, who said her sons “thrive on the repetition and routine of racing.”
Both ran in the Boston Marathon earlier this year. Alex Schneider is hoping to beat his personal best time of three hours and 23 minutes, which he set at the April race, while Jamie is hoping to cross the finish line.

Alex and Jamie run with identification tags on their wrists and sneakers that include their diagnosis and contact information. They each run races with at least one guide to help keep a steady pace, provide water, avoid hazards, navigate crowds and deal with their reactions to noise and other distractions. The guides use simple commands and hand signals to keep them focused.

The family began running on the beach when the boys were about 8; Special Olympics races followed when the boys were teenagers. The twins gained more experience with the Rolling Thunder Special Needs Program, a club for mainstream and challenged athletes.


Popular posts from this blog

Please register if you haven't yet. This year's election is most critical!! Join millions of Americans who are registered to vote by signing up in your state

Get Ready for Giving Tuesday, November 29th!

#GivingTuesday is a global movement that inspires people through social media to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they celebrate and help create a better world. This effort harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners-nonprofits, businesses and corporations as well as families and individuals-to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season.


What You Can Do Make an impact in your community by participating in #Giving Tuesday 2016.  To make an online donation to Beauty Within~Teen Esteem click here. As a Beauty Within~Teen Esteem Donor, you help open the doors to first time experiences that spark young children's curiosity and imagination like:Teen Esteem Workshops Program that served over 300 children and families by emphasizing self awareness and much more Lets Go, H20! Programthat reached  over 1,600 K-2nd grade  underserved children i…

Join Eric Devezin & Beauty Within~Teen Esteem for a Mommy & Me Shopping Party at California Place, June 25th

Everyone knows that Devezin Beauty is a favorite beauty brand, and a big part of my summer activities. Globe trotting makeup pro, Eric Devezin launched his empire in 2010, consisting of  colorful collection of makeup products, beach bags, skincare, swimsuits, and bedding. BWTE is co-hosting a super fun shopping party with MAKEUP DESIGNER  Eric Devezin himself on June 25th in Tarzana, from 2-5PM. Join Eric Devezin  and BWTE to shop the stunning new summer collection, and be sure to bring your little style stars to enjoy our Candy Shop sweet treat bar. To RSVP  click here.



You can almost close your eyes and be transported: feel the grass under the picnic blanket, sand on the beach, and see the blooms push through the soil….it’s summertime in California!