There are several surf camps for autistic children that your child can participate in. A few are Surfing Angels, Surfers Healing and iMatter Surf Camp. Attending a surf camp gives an autistic child the opportunity to participate in an activity that improves their self esteem and allows them to have fun. I had the opportunity to do an email interview with Jessica Guberman, Ph.D with Community Options Enterprises. They are the organizers of iMatter Surf Camp. Here are the questions and answers:
The iMatter Surf Camp for Children with Autism is a one day surf camp
where children get to surf tandem, one on one, with a local surfer to
experience to develop not only a love of the water but of surfing. The
camp takes place every year in Westhampton, NY. The camp is made possibly
by Community Options, Inc. which is a national nonprofit organization that
has been developing homes and employment supports for people with
disabilities for over twenty years. The camp started in 2007 and has
generated hundreds of participants, volunteers and families.
>2. Who can attend and where can they find out how to sign up their child?
Anyone is eligible to attend and more information about registration can
be found on our Facebook page.
Registration opens the first week in February and families fill out an
application and waiver and submit that back to me so I can process the
>3. What are some of the benefits for an autistic child to attend a
The iMatter Surf Camp is a completely inclusive event and it allows
children with autism to surf with their non-disabled peers, the camp
teaches children how to surf, the camp allows children to feel a stress
free environment where they can feel free to be themselves and have an
awesome time. When people ask me about the camp, the only way I can
describe it is magical. It is always the best day of my entire year.
>4. What kind of training and experience do the volunteers at this camp
The volunteers that work with the children are all local surfers from Long
Island. They have had years of experience surfing on the beaches of Long
Island and thoroughly enjoy working with the children. Land volunteers
have all different types of experiences, volunteers can help me
registration, preparation of food (we serve a free nut free lunch) clean
up, mingling with families, photographers, etc.
Our organization website is www.comop.org.
Jessica Guberman, Ph.D.