Oldham Athletic's cheerleading sessions have been praised for helping a local girl overcome the difficulties caused by her Asperger's syndrome.
Missy Carrington was diagnosed with Asperger's, dyspraxia and Attention Deficit Disorder two years ago, making it difficult for her to interact socially. She also suffers from co-ordination problems and compulsive rituals.
But just nine months after a chance visit to the Latics' Blue Crew training sessions, Missy has been voted Cheerleader of the Year 2010 by the club and is heading to Stoke in November to represent them at the National Streetcheer Competition.
"Watching her perform makes me cry, she has progressed so much," admitted Missy's mum, Samantha Wood.
"When Missy first went to a half-term street cheer session with a neighbour, she thought she'd be tripping everyone up and they would all be falling out with her. But she absolutely loved it and has never looked back.
"Streetcheer is an outlet for her Asperger's, she feels like a normal girl during those hours.
"She is a very happy child and her team mates are so kind. The teachers put their heart and soul into everything they do, it has changed Missy's life."
Missy now attends Blue Crew sessions in Chadderton twice a week and performs at Boundary Park at home games.
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