Atticus Edmunds, 8, got his first feeling of flying down a skate ramp last month after his mom, Tresa Edmunds, saw a video on Facebook of a boy in a wheelchair being pushed around a skate park.
Edmunds recruited her husband, Jared Edmunds, and the family of three went to the skate park down the street from their home near Sacramento, California, to let Atticus experience the sensation of skate boarding himself. Jared pushed Atticus up and down the skate park’s ramps as if the two were on a board together.
“I couldn’t see the kid’s reaction in the Facebook video and I wanted to see what Atticus would think of it,” Tresa Edmunds told ABC News. “It was an experiment.”
“Atticus’ reaction was so much more than anything we could have anticipated,” she said.
Atticus, who is limited in his speaking and walking capabilities, is now a regular at the skate park, where the other kids have adopted him as one of their own.
“He’s a local celebrity,” Edmunds said. “What I’m loving about this skating world we’re entering accidentally is that it’s all about getting up and making the attempt.
“They’ve just embraced him as a skater,” she said. “All the other kids are giving him high-fives.”
Atticus was born at 28 weeks and weighed 2 pounds, 3 ounces. He is now a second-grader.
His parents are using his new love of skating as an incentive for schoolwork, and as a life lesson in determination.
“We’ll say, ‘Do your homework and we’ll go to the skate park,” Edmunds said. “He had his first wipeout and it spooked him a little bit because he’s not used to falling over.
“We had a talk about, ‘If you’re going to be a skater you have to get back up,’ and he did,” she said. “He got right back out there.”