Surfers Healing

How about this for a different slant on the treatment of autism? It all started when competitive surfer Israel Paskowitz found out that his 3-year-old son was autistic. “Izzy” and his wife Danielle were, understandably, devastated by the diagnosis.

But then Izzy got an idea. He decided to take his son out on the ocean with him. He put Isaiah on the board, paddled out, and they rode the wave in together. Magic. Isaiah had a ball and at the end of the day seemed noticeably calmer and happier. It soon became perfectly clear to Izzy and Danielle that surfing was a therapeutic tool that worked wonders on their son.

Before long, the Paskowitz’s decided to take their home-grown therapy and offer it to other families with autistic kids. Thus, Surfers Healing was born. Today, this organization offers free, day-long surf camps for autistic children and their families all over the country.

The autistic kids have a blast out on the ocean, safe in the hands of expert surfers who volunteer their time and expertise. The parents and siblings gather together to watch, cheer, take movies, have lunch and celebrate a happy, “normal,” fun-filled day at the beach.

Take a moment to check out their website, and donate if you can. To watch a short clip made by CNN click here.

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Ellen and Rachel are two old friends and “expert” mamas—one a pediatrician and one a family therapist—with fifty years of parenting experience between them.

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