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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - Hundreds of kids rode the waves in Wrightsville Beach today. But it’s not their age that sets these kids apart. All of them have autism.
Dakota Labelle is four years old and has been surfing with Surfers Healing for two years.
“I had fun surfing!” he said.
His mom Vicki Labelle calls it a blessing.
"It has been an amazing experience to watch him and all of these kids enjoying what Izzy and the surfers healing group have to share," she said.
Izzy, or Israel Paskowitz, created Surfers Healing for parents with autistic children. He has a child with autism and believes the waves are a form of healing.
"Like all the kids they have anxiety, they get out and something crazy and magic happens out there and then we ride wave's and kind of show off and it’s beautiful," he said.
Lars Newton’s parents have been bringing him out to surf for four years. They said it’s very therapeutic.
"Every time feels like the first time, he goes out there, he enjoys it, he enjoys the peace while he's out there. He enjoys the rush of surfing the wave in," his father Grant Newton said.
Many of the volunteers for the event are autistic themselves.
"I like to help people so they don’t have to go through what I had to go through growing up,” Jerry Schuller said.
The organization is based in California and holds surf camps all across the country.
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