Flex has teamed up with the Autism Society of San Diego for the 11th annual "Splash for Cash" event on April 28th. The money raised from this event will help provide free adaptive swimming lesson programs for children and adults with Autism. We are so excited for a day in the sun with music from Energy’s 103.7 and a chili dog lunch served by San Diego’s firefighters.
Here is a testimonial from a Mother with an Autistic son on the Autism Society’s Surf Camp:
"I am not really sure what exactly draws a lot of autistic children to water, but it sure does seem to be a natural way to soothe and calm my son in ways that no other outdoor activity does. My seven-year old boy, A, who has high-functioning Autism, was primarily diagnosed at age 3 (formerly by a physician at age 5) and had very little expressive language until age 4. Since an early age, water has always been a concern for us as a family.
However, two summers ago, with much discussion and convincing, my husband and I took a leap of faith, and signed Anthony up for his very first camp (Surf Camp), thanks to Aqua Pros and the Autism Society of San Diego’s aquatic programs and services, which benefit children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
As a mother, there was nothing more terrifying than driving away after dropping off my child at La Jolla Shores for the first time, in July of 2010. I remember feeling there was no doubt in my mind that I would get a call from the surf camp counselor (assigned as his one-on-one instructor for the day) within hours of dropping off my son. I was troubled with horrific mental scenarios that my son was either 1) declining to get into the water; 2) completely refusing to cooperate and follow instructions; and/or, 3) was having a major meltdown over a nasty jellyfish sting, without mom or dad right at his side to comfort him as he wiped away the tears.
But, reality was the exact opposite – my son, not only embraced his first surf adventure wholeheartedly, but he wouldn’t get out of the water after continuous hours on end. He further developed a love for the surf board, sand, waves, and more importantly, meeting new friends, just like him.
This past July, we requested the same surf camp counselor (who happens to be a 3rd grade Special Needs Autism teacher), and Aqua Pros happily accommodated our request and needs.
He had a harder time the following week after camp accepting that camp was “over,” and talked about it for weeks. As a matter of fact, during many ABA therapy or behavioral modification attempts, all we had to do is remind A, “What are we working for today?” Even today, it’s almost guaranteed that A will most probably say, “Surf Camp, Mom. I want Surf Camp.”
So, what exactly is the answer to the question, “What is the next best thing to Surf Camp?” The answer: Well, other than French fries and ice cream, it is most likely, CAMP I CAN (Camp Including Children with Autism Now). These two summer camps are clearly compared to no other aquatic programs in San Diego, and continue to stay at the top of A’s priority list every summer.
On behalf of many San Diego families that have witnessed the thankless hours and energy of the staff at Aqua Pros, San Diego Autism Society, and the YMCA – thanks for continuing to support our families and the special needs of our children. We thank each and every one of you for your hard work and dedication over the last 12 years! See you this summer!" - TC
We can’t wait to see how much money we can raise together! Join us at this amazing event or help by getting your own Puzzle watch. We Flex for Autism because of awesome kids like Anthony! Why do you Flex for Autism?