NJ Monthly magazine features Will Milazzo and NJ Dare Devils hockey!

This article in NJ Monthly features Will Milazzo on recreation experiences for our community:

https://njmonthly.com/articles/jersey-living/raising-the-bar-for-autistic-individuals/

For kids (and adults) with autism, recreational activities can pave the way to better communication and social skills.

By  | | July 6, 2017 | Appears in the July 2017 issue NJ Monthly
Will Milazzo is a nine-year veteran on the New Jersey Dare Devils, a hockey team for young people with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Will Milazzo is a nine-year veteran on the New Jersey Dare Devils, a hockey team for young people with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Photo by Joe Polillio

Six feet tall and broad shouldered, Will Milazzo deftly handles his hockey stick and takes control of the puck at a practice at the Richard J. Codey Arena in West Orange.

“Hockey is my favorite activity,” says Milazzo, a nine-year veteran of the New Jersey Dare Devils, a team for young people with autism and other developmental disabilities. “I look forward to our Saturday practices all week.”

His father does, too.

“Allowing Will to play hockey was the best decision we ever made,” says Bob Milazzo. “We tried multiple therapies, but playing hockey has done the most to help him function at home and school.”

Will’s mother, Kelly, agrees. “Hockey expanded Will’s world,” she says. “For the first time in his life, he was part of a team. He had friends and belonged.”

Indeed, recreation has become a key component in the treatment of children and adults on the autism spectrum. Educators and physicians confirm that participation in sports, the arts and other leisure activities helps individuals with autism improve communication skills, recognize facial expressions and understand other people’s points of view.

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