Hang ten: surf therapy for children with autism

I live in Chicago. I don’t know a whole lot about surfing. When I saw a blog about a surf therapy program for children with autism, I wasn’t sure if it was a joke or not.

So I asked an expert.

Dr. Patricia Wright lived in Hawaii before accepting her position as National Director of Autism Services at Easter Seals. That’s right — she moved from Hawaii to Chicago in January 2007.

Now, that’s dedication!

But back to surfing. “This is a very cool program!” Patricia told me. “They had an event every year in Hawaii. HUGE names in surfing would show up and surf with the kids.”

There are huge names in surfing? Who knew?

Patricia said she did water safety a couple of times for the event, and it was lots of fun. Maybe it’s worth a try? That blog mentioned a group called Surfers Healing offering a free one-day camp in California for children who have autism. Surfers Healing also happens to be an Easter Seals MySpace friend.

Who knows, maybe this could catch on in Chicago. I’ve heard some folks surf right here on Lake Michigan from time to time.

I wouldn’t expect any surf therapy programs to spring up here real soon, though. The predicted high temperature this weekend: nine degrees.


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  1. Nancy Says:

    Hi we live in Frisco Tx and I was wondering if anyone could tell me of any camps and support here for families with children with a child with Autism.