Parenting OC

April 2017

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Parenting OC Magazine | April 2017 39 Special Camps for Every Child Special Camps for Every Child By Michelle Thompson Summer is short, but the experiences made and friendships forged during the school break can be everlasting. Children with special needs can get in on the fun, too, thanks to a wealth of programs serving them throughout Orange County. They'll have a chance to ride the waves, dance the months away, and soak up the summer like every kid should. Surfer's Healing – Dana Point Autistic children can find a little summer sizzle by hitting the waves through a program that helps teach special needs kids how to surf. Surfer's Healing is offering a free, one-day camp for autistic kids June 21 at Dana Point's Doheny State Beach. It's among the many complimentary day-long camps the non-profit foundation is offering throughout the world. The camp is now in its 20th year. It was founded by Danielle and Izzy Paskowitz, whose autistic son, now 26, loves the ocean. Izzy Paskowitz, formerly a world-renowned professional surfer, says some parents shed tears of joy from the shore as the watch their children riding the waves, unhindered by fear or anxiety. After they're fin- ished, the kids return to the beach, running "into the arms of mom or dad, waiting on the dry sand with a big, dry and cozy towel". The non-profit Surfer's Healing is also offering a series of fee- based, three-day autism surf camps in nearby San Diego this sum- mer. Isaiah's Surf Camps will run July through August. Registration is required to participate. Visit for more information. Various Summer Programs – Lake Forest From socializing and swimming to workouts and music, the City of Lake Forest is hosting a variety of special needs-related classes this summer. Its social group for children on the autism spectrum will focus on emotional, social and behavioral growth. Language, play, and problem solving are among the areas that will be addressed. The Special Fishies Aquatic Freedom program strives to help kids develop a love for the water through a class designed for high needs and autistic kids, as well as those with sensory processing disorder. Other programs include a stroller workout program which allows parents to exercise and make new friends while their spe- cial needs children come along for the ride. The Music for Special Needs Children program helps nurture innate musical abilities while working on important life skills such as socializing and com- municating. Kids will sing, play instruments, participate in musical stories and play with puppets and props. Parents interested in learning more can visit the city's special needs resource fair, happening April 29 at the Lake Forest Sports Park Commons, 2800 Rancho Parkway, Lake Forest. Surfer's Healing offers kids on the spectrum a chance to Zen as they hang ten.

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