EAST COBB, Ga. — Taylor Duncan was diagnosed with autism at the age of 4-years old. As a young child, he vividly remembers being told "no" when trying out for traditional teams. Now at the age of 26, Duncan has created a team of his own. He feels it's important that individuals diagnosed with autism or other special needs get the opportunity to enjoy the game of baseball.

"Being on the autism spectrum myself and growing up I didn't have a lot of opportunities to play traditional baseball. Being told no by coaches when I wanted to participate in traditional youth sports because they thought I was too much of an injury risk. 

Taylor Duncan at bat
ABO founder, Taylor Duncan at bat

The Alternative Baseball Organization was created in 2016, providing special needs players the opportunity to participate in official level sports. Duncan says the organization was about more than baseball alone.

"A big factor in those with autism is often times the lack of social skills, says Duncan. Sports can teach the social skills needed for them to be successful through experience," says Duncan.

Players with the Alternative Baseball League
Players with the Alternative Baseball League

The Alternative Baseball Organization has teams in 14 different states spanning from Georgia to Pennsylvania. Duncan credits the organization for empowering players with special needs around the globe, giving them confidence on and off the field.

"They are really learning that they can become capable when they're given the opportunity to do everything they know they can do," says Duncan.

With a surplus of interested players and team expansion in mind, the organization is currently in need of coaches.

To learn more about the ABO visit the official website.