Home > Awareness > Ernie Els Featured on ESPN’s ‘Outside the Lines’

Ernie Els Featured on ESPN’s ‘Outside the Lines’

On June 19, Father’s Day, Ernie Els was featured on ESPN’s Outside the Lines, discussing his son, Ben, who diagnosed with autism at 4 years old, changing his family. Tom Rinaldi describes a father and son’s journey far beyond the golf course. Click on this Outside the Lines‘ screen shot watch segment.

Els for Autism
“It is several years since our son Ben was diagnosed with Autism. We suspected for a few years that something was not quite right. There’s a process that every kid goes through. Crawl at nine months, walk at 12 months, and then start talking and so on. With Ben we started thinking: ‘Why is he not crawling? Why is he not walking? Why is he not looking me in the eye?’ Things like that. We soon discovered he was quite severely touched by Autism. We established the Els for Autism Foundation in 2009 with the goal of funding an Autism Center of Excellence, the first of its kind in the world. Autism hits families hard and I’ll be fighting for the rest of my life to try and help others in the same situation. I hope you’ll share an interest and join me in this fight.”  - Ernie Els

  1. gaetano scarpa
    June 20, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    great story it shows that autism has no boundaries it can touch anybody life from the rich and famous to the average family autism does not define who going to get this disorder it just happens

  2. lynne elmore
    June 20, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    i thank you for supporting children with autism i’m thankful has a less severe case of autism then other children do but watching your feature on espn yesterday helped me understand why it has been so hard for my son who is 12 years old to learn how read even though we have tried every reading program we can find.i still keep trying because i know that if he read bible stories to me then he should be able to read books that are more geared towards children his age or he should be able to read a baby book at least but i don’t push him to much because being a christian mother means that i’m proud fo him for being able to read a bible story that he likes.

  3. Becky Hodge
    June 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Thanks so much for that testimonial,I have a 3y/o grandson who has autism also.My son has always been very involved in team sports and when found out they were expecting a son was so excited,lots of hopes and dreams for their son.At age 2 1/2 Braylon was dx with autism.Needless to say those dreams changed to help him learn to speak,learn and behavior objectives.Bothe of Braylons parents play golf and are on golf leagues so I have been encouraging them to get Braylon involved in golf thought it might be easier for him to experience some success and self esteem from that sport.They are apprehensive do the fact he becomes a little over stimulated by wide open spaces.He also has the same issues with crowds but I have consistantly taken him to church aand now seems to be very comfortable in church services.Hopefully same will happen with golf.He is making great strides with he speech and eye contact in the few months he has been in therapy.Pleasse continue to speak out about autism to let thease young parents know they can still have hopes and dreams for their children just have to change or alter those dreams a little.So again thanks so much and keep posting your experiences.Oh by the way we are planning a golf scramble to raise money for Autism Speaks this summer,wish us luck.I will be praying for your son and family please pray for ours.Thanks again Becky Hodge

  4. Karen Hale
    June 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I would like to share with Ernie the following interview – my son is also on the spectrum and his song and words are trying to make others aware
    If you haven’t yet – go to this link and listen to this interview listen to Alex on the radio http://wdok.radio.com/shows/jim-mcintyre/
    Jim McIntyre
    wdok.radio.com

  5. June 22, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Thanks Ernie, Ben, Tom, ESPN Outside the Lines and Autism Speaks. This is good Father’s Day story. Sharing our experiences is a selfless and thoughtful way to inspire others. ‘EnjoyHi5Autism’ believes that “Life on the Autism Spectrum can be ENJOYable.”

  6. Mark
    June 24, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    I was never a big Ernie fan until I learned about Ben. Now I root for Ernie in every tournament. Several years ago I wrote to Ernie about my own autistic son, Connor. At the time, we were raising money to obtain a service dog for Connor. Ernie generously donated several autographed items that were used in a silent auction. We obtained Connor’s dog, Wonka, last summer. Everyday I see Wonka I appreciate Ernie’s generosity and all he and his family have done to help raise autism awareness for families like mine. Thanks Ernie!

  7. December 3, 2011 at 10:42 am

    They are apprehensive do the fact he becomes a little over stimulated by wide open spaces.He also has the same issues with crowds but I have consistently taken him to church and now seems to be very comfortable in church services.Hopefully same will happen with golf.He is making great strides with he speech and eye contact in the few months he has been in therapy.Please continue to speak out about autism to let these young parents know they can still have hopes and dreams for their children just have to change or alter those dreams a little.So again thanks so much and keep posting your experiences.

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