This past weekend we we're lucky enough to head down to Tofino, BC and be a part of an amazing annual event. This weekend marked the 5th annual Autism Surf's Up event. This event gives these familes of a child living with autism a chance to get out into the water; surf and enjoy themselves in a safe and judgment free environment.
Each child is provided with a behavioural interventionist and a surf instructor while out in the water, this gives parents a chance to sit back and enjoy these incredible moments.
Surfs Up began when Dennis Nerpio, founding member of the SUPA Society, took his son Braedon (who is on the autism spectrum) to Tofino one weekend to go surfing. The family rented wetsuits, boards and headed into the Pacific. While out in the water Braedon was catching waves and within 30 minutes stood up at that moment something changed, the family knew it wasn't going to be a barrier for them.
In 2012 Surf's Up only had 24 children surfing during a one day event, this year 56 children with autism were able to head into the water over a two day period. This event has really grown into its own community, many volunteers and familes have been with the event since the beginning.