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Great Bend's T-ball Super Heroes
Spectators cheer on youngster
tball1 aiden left braydin right
Super Heroes T-ball team members Aiden (left) and Braydin (right).


The T-ball team called the Super Heroes lived up to their name.
One-by-one, they started cheering for their teammate, who had never batted — let alone run the bases.
By the time Aiden Schlotthauer touched home plate, the youthful cheers from the opposing Royals and Super Heroes joined forces.
“He was all smiles and I was all tears,” said Linda Schlotthauer. “There were a lot of moms’ tears in the stands.”
Life for Linda Schlotthauer is a day-by-day challenge raising 6-year-old twin boys Aiden and Braydin, who struggle with non-verbal autism.
“Aiden is very stubborn — he doesn’t comply to a lot of things,” Linda said.
He didn’t want to participate and didn’t like the Super Heroes’ orange shirts.
Linda was surprised when Aiden signalled he was ready to bat in the final inning of the final game by putting his game uniform back on.
Just one problem.
“Our team had already batted and were getting ready to take the outfield,” Linda said.
Aiden was allowed to hit after a quick conversation with Super Heroes coaches Davin Mills and Allison Leathers, the Royals’ coach and the umpire.
“It was his very last chance to bat,” Linda said. “But he was all gung-ho and strutted out there.”
Linda walked with Aiden to show him the proper route around the bases.
“When he touched second base, Aiden was grinning and his team started cheering him on,” she said. “When he rounded third base, everybody was clapping and cheered him on to home. It was a big accomplishment for him. I was crying like a baby.”
Linda was nervous when her boys exhibited minimal verbal skills at an early age. They were diagnosed with non-verbal autism. The boys have accomplished simple tasks like brushing their teeth and holding still for a haircut.
“People who raise special needs children understand the every day challenge,” Linda said.
Braydin can carry on a conversation. Aiden prefers to use sign language.
“They thrive on sign language,” Linda said. “Our daughter Alexis, 10, signs right with the boys.”
Linda cried when Braydin surprised her when he called her Mom for the first time this spring.
“He’d never called me Mom,” she said. “That was one of his little accomplishments.”
Linda said she will always treasure the night when one of her boys accomplished one of those small goals.
“He will never understand the kindness that everyone showed him,” Linda said. “But I will forever remember. Thank you all from the very bottom of my heart.”