Surfers Healing A Special Event

Surfers Healing A Special Event

It might not be a major crowd or economic generator for the resort as a whole, but the Surfers Healing event — held each August in Ocean City — is certainly the most inspirational special event held in Ocean City.

Surfers Healing was founded in 1996 as a traveling day-long surf camp that takes kids with autism surfing. The campaign has grown to now touching over 4,500 children across the nation at select beaches each summer. In Ocean City on Wednesday, more than 220 kids were given the special treat of riding a wave with some compassionate and understanding surfers with hearts of gold.

The photo on the cover of the newspaper sums up this special event well in our opinion. More photos by Chris Parypa that document the emotional day can be found inside as well as on the newspaper’s Facebook page.

Surfers Healing’s website reads, “Attending our camps positively impacts children with autism; the experience helps instill confidence and calm. Yet over the years we’ve seen that Surfers Healing also has a profound impact on parents. Autism parents are always hearing about what their children cannot do. But at a Surfers Healing camp, it’s all about what their kids can do.”

Clearly that experience was felt in Ocean City on Wednesday with emotions running high and lasting memories made.

“Everybody you talk to says it’s just a great day at the beach and everybody is upbeat and having fun,” said Andrea Baker, whose son participates. “It’s just a great day to be a regular family because everybody out here is facing the same challenges.”

Families with special needs kids have struggles foreign to those with so-called “normal” children. It goes far beyond the concept of the daily uncertainty amid an abundance of questions with unclear answers. In most cases, there’s a clear diagnosis, such as Autism, but the road map is a winding one full of daily hurdles. There are troublesome medical questions, health insurance struggles, daily educational worries and social awkwardness to overcome.

The future is always in question. Nothing is easy. Most special needs parents will say they get through it by taking life as it comes and living with blinders on. Live and embrace each day, as it will be difficult but there will be highlights as well. They will just be different, the result of unique expectations, but worthy of celebrating.

Thanks to Surfers Healing for helping to make this past Wednesday a special day full of inspiration and hope for these families. Here’s to hoping this event continues to be an Ocean City tradition for many years to come.