Surfing and autism

It must be the weather … living here in Chicago in the dead of winter makes me want to talk about warm weather sports! Last year at about this time, we posted information about Surfer’s Healing, and now I just saw a great video on the Ocean Psychology blog about surfing and individuals with autism.

From that blog post, you can watch a CBS interview — professional surfer Israel Paskowitz’s son Isaiah has autism, and Israel gave a great interview about his son’s experience in the water. Israel was raised in a surfing family, and his childhood experiences were captured in the film Surfwise. When Isaiah was diagnosed with autism, there were questions about whether the surfing legacy would continue in the next generation.

Thanks to programs like Surfers Healing, Isaiah and others with autism are able to experience the thrill that surfing provides!


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  1. Patricia Wright Says:

    Thanks for passing along the link Carrie. Just read Mr. Haber’s article. His in-depth discussion of the history of surfing was quite informative. The experience of surfing is pretty amazing. Given its long history and spiritual roots the passion that many people have for surfing, including people with autism, is understandable.

  2. Carrie Clark Says:

    I found this very interesting article on surfing & autism. It is written by Michael Haber who started the blog you mentioned. It is on his personal website.

  3. Patricia Wright Says:

    John – thanks for sharing your personal experience. Although the diagnosis of autism produces challenges in many areas of life, individuals with autism do experience joy. Finding a passion, like surfing, can contribute to a high quality life.

  4. John Says:

    Inspiring. I have a three year old who likely has autism, and it is good to hear about individuals enjoying a good quality of life with the disorder.

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