|Published:||Oct 12, 2013 2:12 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Oct 13, 2013 10:20 AM EDT|
BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. --- Kids of all ages, and sizes, rode the waves at Barefoot Beach this weekend.
Thousands watched as the children, all diagnosed with Autism, braved the water, with the help of volunteers.
It's all part of Surfers for Autism.
He's just so happy, and I can't stop smiling for him. He's just so excited about today.
Jamie Calla and Paul Wyle's 6 year old son, Tyler, doesn't speak. But they say the water speaks to him.
"Put near the water, he's a happy guy naturally. Put him on a surfboard, he's even happier," said Paul.
He was shy for our cameras, yet the proud parents watched as Tyler owned the water.
It's their second year with the program, and say the payoff is obvious.
"He's definitely more of a people person now. He definitely interacts more with people ... he's more curious about stuff, he's a little more outgoing now," said Paul.
For member of Surfers for Autism, that's the benefit.
"It's amazing. Complete 180. Non verbal children verbalizing for the first time, children who don't want to be touched, bear hugging the instructors, walking the beach hand in hand," said Dave Rossman, who is with the organization.
This 19 year old rode his board all on his own, at least a dozen times.
"Like first time surfing, just trying to get the few physics. Get the flow of it really," said Lennard Cabot.
Leaving everyone happy in the end.
For more information, check out Surfers for Autism's Facebook page.
- Person of interest in Lehigh Acres killings not alone
- LCSO investigates North Ft. Myers homicide
- Victim's parents ask for public's help in finding suspect
- Five years fatality free: Florida set to break gator record
- Man who lost leg to propeller unable to reach settlement
- Templeton Shootout drives millions into Naples economy
- House to tackle flood insurance rate hikes
- Neighbors say homicide victim was loved by everyone
- Naples shelter combats domestic violence one gift at a time
- FWC reports 20th panther mortality for 2013