In Maryland, more than a hundred autistic children gathered on the beach in Ocean City this week to experience the feeling of catching a wave thanks to the organization, Surfer’s Healing.
Surfer’s Healing brings families living with autism and pro-surfers from all over the world together for a day at surfer camp.
Surfers Healing was founded by Israel and Danielle Paskowitz, whose son, Isaiah, was diagnosed with autism at age three. Like many autistic children, he suffered from sensory overload, yet the ocean was the one place where he seemed to find respite.
A former competitive surfer, Israel hit upon an idea–with dad on the front of his surfboard, and Izzy steering from the back, the two spent the day surfing together. Surfing had a profound impact on the boy.
Israel and Danielle decided they wanted to share this unique therapy with other autistic children. They began to host day camps at the beach where autistic children and their families could be exposed to a completely new experience of surfing.
Their 2011 camps, up and down the coast of the US, are all filled.
(LISTEN to the story, or read it, w/ photo at WAMU News)