#SomethingGood: 5-Year-Old Boy, Diagnosed With Autism, Epilepsy Triumphs in Karate


A young boy from Cedar Hill is giving the internet something to smile about.

Jackson "JP" Provo is 5 years old and like any young man, his family wanted to find him an extracurricular activity.

But JP has been diagnosed with autism and epilepsy so finding the perfect sport can be a challenge.

"We tried soccer but he did not like that at all," his mother Ashley Provo said. "He refused to participate every game because he didn't seem to like the competitive nature of it."

So his parents Jesse and Ashley Provo tried Karate at House of Courage in Cedar Hill.

When JP first started, coach David Skelton said JP was hesitant and often had to take a step back from the mat.

But over the course of the last year, JP has overcome those challenges.

"He hasn't been melting down when he makes mistakes or can't do something that is more challenging for him," Ashley said.

And in early September, his family truly got a taste of how much he's grown.

JP had to pass his courageous cubs test to advance to the next karate class.

The test involved him breaking a wooden board with his hand. That's something that's intimidating for any five year old.

Despite his nerves getting the best of him, and nearly backing out, at the last minute he decided to take the test.

In his white uniform he punched the board as hard as he could, and it broke in half.

This was the first time JP broke the board with is fist, instead of a palm strike and because of that the entire room went crazy.

Sensei Skelton looked at JP with awe, the crowd behind him cheered in joy, and JP grabbed the wooden board and raised it in the air in triumph.

"We always tell him to not give up and when things get frustrating he needs to turn it around quickly and persevere," Ashley said.

JP is now toting around his new green and purple belt and even had the chance to show off the broken board at school.

JP's mom says karate has helped him improve not only in focus, discipline, and coordination, but in his speech as well.

"I remember the first time he tried to pray in class he didn't even say anything and you prayed for him, the second time he mumbled a few words together but you could barely hear him," she said. "Now he speaks up and prays with confidence out loud in front of everyone."

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