Therapeutic Surfing for Children with Autism

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Meet Dr. Antonio Rinaldi and The Resumption Project, an inspiring story about how a surfer uses his talents to help others share the joy that surfing creates.  Through this unique program supported by Billabong, Children with autism and their families are invited to learn to surf and enjoy everything that the ocean has to offer.  


Smiling faces during surf lessons. Photo/Giulia Barini, Elisa Cerboneschi


The project highlights the children’s abilities in life to show them that they are capable of doing the seemingly impossible.  As a psychologist and Billabong surf ambassador, Dr. Rinaldi focuses on visual learning and thinking to teach children with autism how to surf.  


Grom in training! Photo/Giulia Barini, Elisa Cerboneschi


Dr. Rinaldi also focuses on awareness of Autism to the public and has practiced water therapy for various pathologies for years.  Co-worker, Elisa Servello and Rinaldi work together to put on the project with other instructors.


Dr. Rinaldi cheers for a successful wave, a touching moment for all. Photo/Giulia Barini, Elisa Cerboneschi

Never giving up! Photo/Giulia Barini, Elisa Cerboneschi




The music in the video above is Dr. Rinaldi’s voice and guitar; the video was edited by him as well, with photos by Elisa Cerboneschi-Guilia Barini.  For more information on how to be involved with The Resumption Project contact:


Another organization that is working hard to make a difference through surfing is Surfer’s Healing Virginia Beach Camp.  Virginia Beach was swarmed by young souls as 225 kids participated in an event for autistic children organized by Surfers Healing over the summer.  The 8th Annual Surfers Healing Camp allowed participants the opportunity to surf and play in the waves as parents watched in amazement on the sidelines. Surfer’s Healing Virginia Beach is run by a non-profit, philanthropic organization called Guardian Angels Fund, Inc.  


Surfer’s Healing was founded by Israel and Danielle Paskowitz, who’s son Isaiah was diagnosed with autism at just three years old.  Israel and Danielle started the camp for autistic children to experience surfing shortly after they discovered the bliss it brought to their own son’s life.  The Surfer’s Healing Team has brought surf camp to Virginia for six years in a row.  Sponsors that have allowed this organization to continue the free-of-charge event for children include, The Youth Services Club, The Noblemen of Virginia Beach, Beach Commercial, The Artist’s Gallery, Guardian Angels Fund, Inc, 71st Street Anglers, Suburban Realty, Shadowlawn Surf Club, Kale Running, The Tidewater Autism Society, The White Family’s All-In-For-Autism Poker Tournament and many more. 


For opportunities to volunteer or participate, check out the Surfer’s Healing website.


(682 Posts)

As a college graduate from California State University, Long Beach, Emily enters the world with a Bachelor's Degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies and a passion for surfing, cultural diversity and serving others.

Shannon Marie Quirk says:

amazing article, emily!

Shannon Marie Quirk says:

amazing article, emily!


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