TODAY   |  November 05, 2013

Cheerleading squad includes kids with special needs

The Hunterdon Huskies are gaining national attention for their inspiring kindness by including kids with special needs on the team and performing at games with them. NBC’s Natalie Morales reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to our special series hope to it. and a cheer leleading squad that inspires well beyond the playing field .

>> and this coach and team are bringing a can do spirit to their community. it's a beautiful fall day for football as the cheerleaders warm up the crowd. meet the husky's contenders, a group of special needs cheerleaders that perform at football game with other cheer leading squads. the contenders were founded by debbie .

>> there were kid with special needs in the school district . and i couldn't not do it.

>> reporter: three years later the squad doubled in size welcoming girls of all abilities.

>> the girls have special needs that are down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy .

>> one look at their smiling faces and it's clear they love being a part of this team.

>> i like to dance.

>> i like huskies and dance.

>> they changed my life.

>> and coach debbie agrees.

>> i love it. i love it. i feel that it gives me so much more than i give them. when they're with me, they have no problems and when i'm with them, i have no problems.

>> for the parents of these girls --

>> it's gratifying as a parent to see this and to have not just my daughter but all the girls participate.

>> most people look at our children and they see what they cannot do but when they work and work very hard as a team and they get up and perform, you get to see what they're able to do and it is fabulous.

>> reporter: cheerleaders inspiring long after the game is over.

>> and coach debbie hopes her team will encourage more schools to form special need squads across the country. what a great program that they started there.

>> good for debbie and good for that school. we hear all of these stories about bullying and people being mean.