On the surface, Ethan Fineshriber may seem much like any other 13-year old boy trying to navigate his last year of middle school. However, there is more than meets the eye to this outgoing Utah native.
Ethan has already had a whirlwind life in his brief 13 years on this planet, but what he has overcome to achieve some incredible goals is probably what makes his story that much more intriguing.
Ethan’s life seemed to begin like most babies, happy and active. But as he progressed into a toddler, it became apparent there were some troublesome issues that began to concern his parents and loved ones around him. He was beginning to show significant enough developmental delays in his speech and motor skills that doctors began recommending a battery of tests. When he wasn’t walking yet at 20 months, he was sent to a hospital for evaluation. And when he was struggling to use language the way most toddlers do, it was recommended he be tested for Autism.
The concerns were founded as four days of testing resulted in a positive diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). He was developmentally delayed in some of his fine motor skills, was extremely sensitive to certain types of stimuli, and was delayed in his vocabulary and speech. He could actually say almost any word and was an almost gifted mimic being able to repeat back anything anyone would say to him, with accents included. However, at three years old, he rarely used his own words to communicate, mostly repeating back what others had said to him.
Ethan was enrolled in both speech and occupational therapy to help build pathways from his brain to his mouth to help him get the language inside of his head, out of his mouth. He also worked on becoming less sensitive to sound and other environmental stressors. Over time he made huge progress and it was recommended he then be entered into group therapy to help him learn to use his new found language and coping skills in a social setting. Ethan has had several stories featured on Autism Speaks. Below are links to a couple of them:
- Autismspeaks.org: How my autistic son became a martial arts champion
- Autismspeaks.org: How martial arts helped autistic boy break out of his shell
He has had significant struggles to work through along with huge personal wins and opportunities that accented the amazing work ethic he’s displayed over the past 6 years of his life. Ethan was started in martial arts as a way of helping him to further practice his social skills and to make some friends, which he didn’t easily begin to do until he was around 9 years old. His mom also worried about him being an easy bully target with his social struggles and quirky ways. However, the year and half worth of speech, occupational, and group therapies as well as his martial arts training seemed to help him build better coping skills, some budding talents, and develop self-confidence as he navigated his way to his teenage years.
He had a natural talent for the sport of karate and when one of his initial instructors suggested he try a national competition, he jumped at the chance and took a first place. It was after that success on a national level, that it was suggested that Ethan may have what it might take to win on a world level and he and his parents made the choice to begin training for that ambitious endeavor. It took 3 years of intensive training and hard work, but in 2016, Ethan won his first world title with a perfect score in the XMA (Extreme Martial Arts) black belt boys division of the ATA (American Taekwondo Association). His story became well known as it was featured on People Magazine, Fox News, and Good Morning America .
But he didn’t stop there, he actually continued to train and began to explore competitions on several other circuits and that year won two additional world titles in two other organizations. Below is one of his winning performances from the Nationals Black Belt League and another from the American Taekwondo Association:
He has enjoyed a martial arts athlete sponsorship with Hyper Martial Arts
Helps to promote Bully Prevention for Hyper Bully Defense:
Here is a vlog Ethan put together to promote Bully Prevention:
Ethan is also honored to be a member of Quest ATA (Team Envy), Tobin’s Elite Academy, and Infinity Martial Arts (Team Infinity). He trains regularly with several coaches including Mike Welch, Mike Tobin, Kim Bantum, Jackson Rudolph, Mason Stowell, and Joseph Bein.
As his story began to become more well-known and he started to gain additional following on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, Ethan found that he became increasingly comfortable performing in front of a camera and found a creative way to express himself by vlogging. He has put out a couple dozen vlogs together to date and a few of those have gone viral on Facebook, including one on living with autism that has reached just under 1 million views and a follow-up vlog that has reached almost half a million that you can watch below:
LIVING WITH AUTISM
Ethan’s notoriety and accomplishments have given him the opportunity to be on Nickelodeon as a Lip Sync Battle Shorty with Jojo Siwa and Nick Cannon:
Ethan is also cast as the Green Power Ranger Tommy Oliver on Ninja Kidz Tv: Here are a few links for you to watch:
- Rise of the GREEN RANGER!
- Green Ranger Secret Vlog! Power Rangers Ninja Kidz!
- POWER RANGERS NINJA KIDZ! Episode 4
You can see him on Wonderama’s 2016 Christmas Special:
As of Fall 2017, Ethan is in the 8th grade at a Middle School in Northern Utah and enjoys other hobbies such as building Knex Roller Coaster, making Origami, performing magic, and defeating Rubiks cubes. His life is regularly documented on his Facebook page
For more contacts and info visit Ethan on:
We are all excited to see what he is going to do next.