December 10, 2012

Surfers Healing - Waikiki Camp

Last year, a few months after DS1 was diagnosed with autism, I stumbled upon a show, The Swell Life, on OWN.

From the website:
The Swell Life chronicles a summer with world-class surfer Izzy Paskowitz and his wife, Danielle, as they raise their three children and run "Surfers Healing," a legendary surf camp for kids with autism. The couple support one another through major tests of patience as they care for their 18-year-old autistic son and inspiration for the camp, Isaiah, as well as their two other children, Elah and Elijah - all while running their legendary surf camp.

Fast forward a year later, DS1 was fortunate to participate in a Surfers Healing Surf Camp at Waikiki on November 17.

It was such an amazing experience.

All of the volunteers were so gentle and encouraging with all of the kids.

When DS1 went surfing, he "caught" a couple of waves and was given a medal.

After surfing, he rode in a canoe, played on the beach, and went surfing AGAIN!

It was such a sight to see him standing on the surfboard (with the volunteer surfer's help, of course) and he seemed to be having so much fun.

The entire day was full of heart-warming moments.

We saw so many kids with huge smiles on their faces throughout the day.  Many kept wanting to go back out into the water to surf; others had a blast doing Zumba on the beach.

The camp also offered lunch (including nitrate-free hot dogs!), snacks, drinks, and shave ice to all of the participants and families.

It was an unbelievable experience for not only the kids, but for the families and volunteers too.

Mahalo to Surfers Healing, all of the volunteers and sponsors, and the Paskowitz `Ohana!

It was a day we will never forget.

For more information on Surfers Healing or to find a camp near you, visit the Surfers Healing website.

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Kathleen said...

What a great program, and how fortunate that you live close to it. Hopefully they inspire other groups to create experiences like this for Autistic children.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

That experience is fabulous! It makes me all warm inside for him. :)

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