Planning a vacation with a family member who has autism can be a challenging matter with lots of planning ahead of time and details worked out prior to leaving. Much of the fear that arises in autistic children is the fear of the unknown. Sensory stimulation can also raise fear and anxiety in autistic children, which is why planning out each detail of a vacation is essential to ensure that everyone enjoys himself / herself.
Surfer’s Healing, a foundation for autism, is dedicated to bringing families with autistic children a joyful experience and a new form of therapy through surfing.
Founded by Israel and Danielle Paskowitz, Surfer’s Healing was created as a way for their son Isaiah to find relaxation from sensory overload. Israel took Isaiah for a surfing ride one day and found that surfing had a large impact on Isaiah.
Danielle and Israel realized the power of surfing for autistic children and decided to begin hosting day camps for autistic children and their families to experience the therapy of surfing.
Surfer’s Healing camp is offered in a variety of locations across the east coast of the United States, including Maryland, Virginia Beach, North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Rhode Island, and New Jersey.
During each day at camp, families arrive at the beach to be greeted by friendly staff members who will guide the families through the day’s itinerary. When it’s time for the child to embark on his / her first surfing experience, one of Surfer’s Healing staff members will assist the child with his / her life vest and take him / her out into the water to meet his / her personal instructor. Staff members will find out a little bit about the child’s interests and dislikes from the parents before taking him or her to the instructor. This enables instructors to establish trust with the child.
When the child is ready to go into the water, the staff member will take them to the instructor who will then help the child position himself / herself on the board. And off the child goes!
If the child responds well to the first surfing experience and is eager to continue, the instructor will provide one-on-one lessons for the child so that he / she can surf on his / her own. Surfer’s Healing offers a truly rewarding experience for both the children and the parents.
To learn more about Surfer’s Healing, click here to visit their website.