Here is another generous contribution from people who care about autism. Featured on Wavy.com.
Published : Saturday, 21 Aug 2010, 4:57 PM EDT
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – What do you get when you take surfer legends from California and Virginia Beach, loads of volunteers and 200 children with autism?
You get a memorable day where children experience the miraculous peace of surfing with people who care.
Children with autism don’t spend many days surfing, so this is the loving magic of Surfers Healing Virginia Beach Camp.
“You’ll see some kids kicking and screaming,” said Ginny Cohen, who organized the Seventh Annual Surfers Healing Surf Camp at the Oceanfront. “Some are ready to go out, and some aren’t.”
Tysh Edwards, who helped organize the event, said it’s an opportunity to give families a great day at the beach.
“What we hear is mostly from the parents on how welcome they feel, and how seldom they get to go to the beach because of their children,” Edwards said. “They come here and look around and see that everybody is like them.”
Doctors diagnosed Jamie Miller, 19, with autism at age 5. Like many, he said he was nervous about surfing.
“It almost seemed impossible for us, but we tried to get here and we did,” said Mary Miller, Jamie’s mom. “We’re fighters.”
Fighters they are. With professional surfers in their corner, how could they possibly lose?
After some gentle nudging from his mother, Jamie is out on the board. When he returns to shore, Jamie is greeted by his mom.
“I’ve never seen such a big smile,” she said. “Jamie, I knew you could do it, sweetie.”
Jamie’s new friend is surfer Brad Beach.
“We couldn’t get him into the water, and then we couldn’t get him out,” Beach said. “It was fantastic.”
This turned out to be a fantastic, speechless moment in Jamie’s young life.
“I’m kind of left speechless,” said surfer Ted Brackman. “It’s amazing how these kids come in, and they have a turn-around. They don’t want to do it, and then they leave with a smile on their face. That’s all you gotta say.”
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