In the video, you will see Lucas’ interview talking about his training with his mum Teresa. Below, Coach Emilia and Teresa share their story on Lucas’ progress. Tugs at any parents’ heartstrings. Lucas is just an absolute magically young man! Watching him interact and train with Emilia is heartwarming and puts a smile on anyone’s face. He has come out of his shell so much! Awesome work Lucas, Emilia and Teresa. Teamwork makes the dream work.
- Coach Terri
Lucas has autism and has come so far since we started working together! Where do I even start, this young man has gone beyond expectations! When I met Lucas he was just a small little boy and now he has grown in so many ways physically, mentally, socially even nutritionally.
When working together we focus on strength, coordination, confidence as well as functional movements that he can use in everyday activities. You can see by just the photos and the exercises that he conducts that he is a machine. This young man is determined, dedicated and gives everything a go no matter what.
He is not the boy I met a few months ago! Since working together Lucas is physically stronger in so many aspects. He pushes almost twice his body weight on the prowler, works through set after set. From having no upper body strength initially, to now being able to complete push-ups and chin-ups. This is HUGE!
But his physical achievements are not the only achievements. When I first met Lucas he was shy and quiet, very withdrawn. Now, from a confident and social perspective, Lucas is able to take his shirt off and flex his guns no matter who’s in the room. The relationship we have built since training together has seen his confidence and trust grow. He now hugs me hello and goodbye and allows me to correct his technique through physical touch cues. Lucas has a far better future ahead of him!
Lucas, I am beyond proud of you and will always be standing right next you through your journey at TF. Just like your mum, you are a force to be reckoned with and I am beyond lucky to see you shine week in week out! Keep up the great job Lucas and don’t stop being the young man I know you to be!
- Coach Emilia
Lucas was diagnosed with Autism when he was 3 years old, he is now almost 14. Lucas is the most beautiful boy; he has the biggest heart but struggles socially. During his younger years, we tried many activities and team sports to encourage social interaction, but he just couldn’t relate or fit in.
We learnt that Lucas needs only one on one interaction, but we found it really hard to find something that suited him other than therapy which he does a lot of. Therapy is great for him but works the mind not the body. He needed something physical because his body, as he describes it, feels like electric shocks running through his body. It was during lockdown that I noticed Lucas was watching me do virtual PT so I asked him if it was something he wanted to have a go at. At first, he was hesitant because he doesn’t like change or new people.
As soon as gyms opened up in July 2021, we booked Lucas in with Emilia. He walked out of that first session a different person! He had confidence that I’d never seen. He was super proud of himself and loved how his body felt after it. He described his body to feel calm and mentally he said he felt lighter. Lucas doesn’t warm to people easily and doesn’t like to be touched without warning. As his mum I’ve shed many tears watching the bond he has made with Emilia; it’s definitely not something I’ve seen often. He actually trusts her more than we both realize! I’m so grateful to Emilia for being so accepting and understanding for what works for Lucas. Lucas now has goals and loves how his body is changing. I only wish I got him here earlier.
- Lucas’s mum, Teresa Iaconis