Port Macquarie has hosted its first Surfing the Spectrum gathering, guiding children with autism to surf the waves at Flynns Beach.
About 60 families of children with autism attended the program hosted by Port Macquarie Surf and StS on March 10, encouraging families to learn new skills and try out surfing.
StS co-founder and director Aimee Blacker said the day was positively received by attendees and was hoped to be held on a more frequent basis.
“Our awareness of the space around us is something we take for granted. For most of us, our balance, vision and posture take care of themselves," she said.
Surfing enables those with autism to move fluently in challenging environments.Aimee Blacker
"But the sensory systems of people with autism are a continuous challenge, as they are constantly overloaded by sensory input.
“Surfing enables those with autism to move fluently in challenging environments.
"The ocean provides respite from the constant attack their senses experience every day, allowing time for them to connect with their body in a fun, unstructured, exploratory environment.”
Ms Blacker said the event has the potential to provide ongoing support for the children and families to participate in surfing, through the support of Port Macquarie Surf School.
The program has been operating in Newcastle for two years, teaching participants about ocean awareness and surf therapy.