Tony Hawk helped create a song for an autistic teen who is soothed by skateboarding rhythms

Odin Frost has always loved the sound of skateboarding, especially the rhythmic sound of the wheels rolling over wood. As a nonverbal autistic young man, having tools for soothing distress and anxiety is important for Odin, and his parents say he connects with music and different kinds of rhythms.

Tim Frost, Odin's dad, sent legendary skater Tony Hawk an email inviting him to collaborate with him and Odin on a musical piece based on the sounds of skateboarding. The idea was that they could use skateboard sounds as percussion and build a song around it. Not only did Tony agree to help out, but he did a special recording of a run on the half pipe specifically for Odin and Tim to use for that purpose.

If Odin looks familiar, there's a good reason for that. We shared his life story last summer, when photos of him and his best friend Jordan went viral after their high school graduation. Both boys had both been given slim chances of survival and had overcome tremendous obstacles to graduate from high school, and their story of friendship, perseverance, and family support touched millions.


Upworthy was thrilled to learn about Odin had gotten a chance to meet his hero, Tony Hawk, and we recently caught up with both Tony and the Frost family to chat about their musical endeavor and what it was like for them to meet one another.

Despite living very different lives, Tony told us that he identifies with Odin in a couple of ways. One, he understands what it was like to be different from other kids growing up, and celebrates what's good in that experience. And two, he knows how having parents who support you makes all the difference in the world.

"You can see that Odin thrives from it," Tony told us. "I met him. I can tell that he's right there with them. You know, on the surface, from the outsider's perspective, you don't understand how in tune he really is with everyone."

Tim shared how he came up with the idea of making a song based off of Tony's skateboarding with and for Odin, and Tony explained how it helped him see skating in a whole new way.

"I think I didn't understand the potential of it until I heard the song they created," said Tony. "I think that one thing that Odin has taught me is that there is a zen of skating in just the motion and the sound of it that maybe I never had tuned into."

Imagine teaching the world's most recognizable skater (at least by name) something new about skateboarding. But as Tony said, "We learn from each other." Indeed we do. What a delightful match-up of creativity and humanity this collaboration turned out to be.

You can see more of the Frosts' story about connecting with Tony Hawk and listen to the whole song they created here. (The song begins at the 2:00 mark.)

Dropped In -Featuring Tony Hawk youtu.be

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

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"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

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"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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