After he decided to stick with karate, 13-year-old Grant Goodman was welcomed by his peers at Ivey Shotokan gym in Enterprise, MS.
"I thought it was really cool because we've never had anyone come to class with special needs," said Braden Ivey, son of gym instructor Mike Ivey. "I think he's really good at kata, the form and like... getting the moves and remembering them."
Gym owner Mike Ivey still has to keep his student's eyes forward. Grant usually moves a half-step behind his class-mates, but that's a minor struggle for him. He doesn't get special treatment in class, and that's just the way his mother wants it.
"We never showed any difference with Grant. We never cut him any slack," said Lynese Goodman, Grant's mother. "He got treated just like our other child. We understand he has limitations, but physically he can do anything anybody else can do. It's just might take him a little longer. But he's good with that."
After watching the state games karate competition from the sideline a year before, Grant wanted to compete in June. All the other karate participants gathered to the mat to watch Grant -the only one in the 13-to-15 year old division- perform his kata and win a gold medal.
Lynese believes the families of other children with disabilities can learn from Grant's experience.
"Other people should realize that those kids can do what everybody else's kids can do. Just maybe in a different way.
"He loved it. He absolutely loved it."