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Willow's Story: How Magnet Fishing Helps Autism

Willow’s Story: How Magnet Fishing Helps Autism

Meet Willow; she is an extraordinary young girl from Stockport, Greater Manchester who has a rare chromosome disorder that has caused Autism, Learning impairment, Global Developmental Delay and severe Epilepsy. The extraordinary thing about Willow is that none of these things stop her from doing the things she loves most. From singing to dancing, Willow has proven to be absolutely unstoppable and she’s only just getting started! 

Willow’s parents, Tori and Dan, introduced her to Magnet Fishing (an act of throwing a powerful magnet into a canal for example and see what you find), and needless to say, she absolutely loves it. Not only is magnet fishing giving Willow plenty of exercise and fun, but since she began the sport, her confidence has grown tremendously and it’s clear to see she’s grown as a person when seeing her on the family’s YouTube channel. Willow gets excited about every element of Magnet Fishing, from the simple splash in the water, all the way to pulling exciting, mysterious items out – no matter how small! Since her first throw, Tori and Dan have both noticed she is enjoying life much better and communicating in ways they could only have dreamed of. Seeing such a vast improvement in Willow has spurred Tori and Dan on to spread awareness about the benefits that Magnet Fishing bring to those struggling with mental and physical impairments. 

Tori says, “Magnet fishing is a lovely hobby to have, you’re keeping your mind busy and it’s giving you plenty of exercise without you even realising it.” She then added, “We later realised that we’re doing something to help the environment by removing all of the metal from the canals.” 

Many people with Autism are visually stimulated by bright colours. Following a special request from Scott Hargood, a loving father who has very close links with the Autism West Midlands, we were the first company in the World to launch coloured fishing magnets to support the cause. Like many children with Autism, Willow absolutely loves bright colours and her parents invested in a green coloured fishing magnet for her birthday. It’s safe to say that Willow was absolutely over the moon with the gift and you can see her reaction.

With the guidance of her expert magnet fishing parents, Willow managed to hook onto something quite large and it took everyone by surprise. She managed to find a moped and, with a little assistance from Mum and Dad, managed to hoist the motorcycle to dry land. She was absolutely ecstatic, says Tori.

In a world surrounded by tech, screens and consoles, it’s increasingly difficult for parents to find outdoor hobbies that keep children active and engaged. Tori and Daniel have found great relief in knowing that Willow is getting plenty of exercise while Magnet Fishing. She says her legs have definitely gotten stronger and the best bit is that the whole family forget that they’re doing exercise because they’re having so much fun! 

Friendly words of advice from the family 

Magnet Fishing is an eco friendly sport that is clearing the waterways of decades’ worth of metal that has accrued over time. Remember, us older generations have to set the example for the younger ones, so it is important to remember to sensibly dispose of all finds by calling the local scrap company who will then recycle your finds. The top tip from the Slack family is to use a plastic scraper to clean your magnet after each throw and wear gloves. Gloves are important because safety is the number one priority – especially with children involved. If you would like an advantage when Magnet Fishing over everyone else, Tori and Daniel suggest investing in a grappling hook because you’ll need it more than you think! 

Author’s comments

If you or someone you know struggles with Autism, please visit the below YouTube channels to see how Magnet Fishing is helping others.