CALIFORNIA – Surfers Healing is a non profit organization, founded by Israel and Danielle Paskowitz that teaches children on the autism spectrum to surf.
Israel (Izzy)Paskowitz is a former competitive surfer and finds the ocean the only place he and his son can bond.
Isaiah Paskowitz, the son of Izzy and Danielle, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. Autism is a disorder that often causes uncontrollable tantrums due to sensory overload. Isaiah was 5 and attending one of his fathers competitions when the became overwhelmed. Izzy instinctively put Issaiah on a surfboard and together they paddled out.
Izzy says in the Yahoo News website that:
” A calm came over him. He was loose and relaxed, and genuinely happy,” says Izzy. “He was a regular boy out there doing what I always dreamed of doing with him.”
Out of that astounding moment, Izzy and Danielle founded Surfers Healing, in order to allow other children with autism spectrum disorders to feel the freedom and joy Isaiah did that day.
“I am not going to find a cure,” says Izzy. “But I do know now that I can ride waves with autistic kids and we are not going to charge a penny for it.
There seems to be a special bond between the water and children on the autism spectrum. Surfers Healing one day camps are offered free of charge to children on the autism spectrum. There are many preconceived ideas of what children on the autism spectrum can and can’t do. Through Surfers Healing and its surfing camps it is hoped this will foster a more complete understanding and acceptance of those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
Camps have been held in Hawaii, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, across Canada and Puerto Rico. There are still camps well into September of 2014. Last year over 4500 kids participated. Please check www.surfershealing.org for the remaining 2014 schedule.
The Surfers Healing camp is FREE due to a dedicated team of amazing surfers who volunteer their time and share their passion for surfing. The one day camp will remain free for the children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder as the volunteers are as passionate as Izzy and his wife. They all continue to focus on the children’s surfing therapy and the acceptance by others.
Surfers Healing wants to enhance the lives of all children with special needs especially those diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. In order to keep the goal focused the Paskowitz’s share their therapeutic experience of surfing with children with autism spectrum disorders. They also provide a beautiful bonding day with the children, volunteers and the parents and families with love, fun and acceptance.
For more information about Surfers Healing, please visit the website here
Previous News in Brief on Autism Daily Newscast about Surfer’s Healing can be read here.
Contributed by Mary Alexa Norris, teacher and writer with a passion for empowering those on the autism spectrum and with special needs.