Surfing for a good cause: Children with autism ride the waves

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. (WAVY) – Virginia Beach was packed with surfers on Friday morning, but it wasn’t for a typical day at the beach.

The surfers there were part of an organization called Surfers Healing. Their mission is to help kids with autism by using surfing as therapy.

For those on the beach, it was a special day.

“Pure joy, it’s as real as it gets between the surfers and between the kids and the experience.  Beautiful as it can be,” said Adam Paskowitz, a volunteer from southern California.

This is the 12th year of the camp, which teaches kids with autism how to surf.

Surfers Healing: 450 children with autism prepare to ride the waves

“It is the best thing I do in my life,” said Paskowitz.

For the kids and the families, it’s about relaxing, having fun and getting out on the water, all in a safe space.

“I think for parents, it’s a day where we’re all the same,” Paskowitz said. “It’s a day where nothing that your kid does is going to offend anybody or be recognized as something unusual. It’s the polar opposite of being in a grocery store and having a meltdown. This is the place where there are no meltdowns, only good experiences.”

Surfers Healing was started by Israel and Danielle Paskowitz. Their son has autism and they realized how much being in the ocean calmed him. And with thousands of little surfers hitting the waves this weekend, they’ve shown just how many kids love the experience.

“It’s the kid’s say, it’s the day for the families. We call it one perfect day and we’re just here to give it our best,” Paskowitz said.  He also said it expands the circle of what they are capable of.  He said, “If a kid can stand up on a surfboard under these conditions, then what else can they do?”

Click here for more information about Surfers Healing.

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