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Surfers For Autism Lets Autistic Children Ride the Waves


Health & Wellness  (tags: autism, Florida, Boca Raton, water, success, program )

Raffi
- 3509 days ago - sun-sentinel.com
Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the nation and affects one in 150 children. These children face tremendous challenges in communicating and are socially withdrawn, but a local group has created a day that levels the playing



   

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Raffi LidoRoiz (301)
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 12:40 pm
Surfers For Autism lets autistic children ride the waves

Forum Publishing Group

August 12, 2009


Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the nation and affects one in 150 children. These children face tremendous challenges in communicating and are socially withdrawn, but a local group has created a day that levels the playing field.

Boca-based Surfers For Autism takes autistic children surfing for the day under the watchful eye of parents and beachgoers.

"At first I really wasn't sure how my son, Dan, would react, but I guess that was my own fear and not his," said Jackie Merens, South Florida regional director of Autism Speaks. "He loved riding the waves over and over and in the car on the way home kept saying, ride the waves, ride the waves, yeah!"

SFA raises funds for Autism Speaks, the nation's largest autism science and advocacy organization, and was the top fundraiser for Broward County's 2009 Autism Speaks Walk. Qualified instructors guide the children into the waves, and the line dividing autistic children from nonautistic children disappears.

"One of the most amazing things is that once they are in the water, there really is no difference," said SFA chairman Don Ryan. "I had parents tell me afterward that their child had never communicated like that or been so receptive to touch, and there are very few dry eyes."

Demand is growing, and the group is heading up the East Coast, and the next stop is Cocoa Beach Sept. 19. SFA is reaching out to the community for support. The group needs a minimum 16-foot, enclosed trailer to haul the equipment and eight 8-by-10 plastic tables with folding legs.

"The trailer is really important and something we desperately need," Ryan said. "Any business or organization that donates will appear prominently on the back of the trailer as we head up the East Coast, and it will be great advertising."

SFA is a nonprofit organization and all donations are tax-deductible. For information or to donate, call Don Ryan at 561-445-7154.

More than 200 guests visited the South African Jewels showroom in Boca Raton on July 23 to view South African Jewels collection of diamond jewelry and browse stylish fashions by Style U. A portion of the event's proceeds were donated to the SOS Children's Villages.
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 3:43 pm
Wonderful story Raffi/thank you for posting/Autism is really progressing and no answers yet.
 

Michele DiGiorgi (320)
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 4:07 pm
Excellent news, great article Raffi and I thank you personally for sharing this information my friend, noted.

Peace,
FreeSpirit...
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 5:21 pm
thanks you for this, Raffi. These parents and children need all the support they can get.
 

Jenny Dooley (830)
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 6:17 pm
I appreciate this post!
 

sue M (184)
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 8:26 pm
Great stuff Raffi!
Anyone know an Autistic person let them know that great results from VitD3 have been proven to handle.
 

Raffi LidoRoiz (301)
Wednesday August 12, 2009, 9:47 pm
This autistic person (who by the way grew up surfing in Florida) is on D3 and it's a new world! ;-)
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday August 13, 2009, 10:10 am
What a great cause!!
 

Elm Morrison (357)
Thursday August 13, 2009, 12:40 pm
Great cause. I've forwarded this article link to my son - he is a teacher at a school for challenged kids - ADHD.

Thanks dear Raffi!
 

MmAway M (522)
Friday August 14, 2009, 7:08 pm
This is such a wonderful story, Thanks so much Raffi!!!
 
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