News

University co-hosts surfing camp for autistic children

While many children will spend spring break sitting on the couch watching television, a group of kids diagnosed with autism will be hitting the waves at Miami Beach.

In coordination with the Miami Beach Parks and Recreation Department, the University of Miami and Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD) will be hosting the first annual surfing camp for children with autism and Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism in which the children do not suffer from delay in language learning or cognitive development.

The camp will begin on March 31, during Miami-Dade County public schools’ spring break.

In the program, campers will learn how to surf, snorkel, explore marine life and study basic oceanography and meteorology.

“Surfing helps children with autism relax and is also a very good form of therapy for them,” said Maricarmen Saleta, educational support specialist at UM-NSU CARD. “This will also allow them to work on their social skills. We hope that they will learn and make friends at the same time.”

The Autism Society of America says autism is a neurological disorder that affects the brain’s normal functions, including social interaction and communication skills.

Aside from making friends and working on their social skills, the campers will also be playing games and attending a special lunch and awards ceremony on the last day.

The group of 10 children, all between the ages of 9 and 15, were recruited for the program based on their diagnoses with high functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Priority was also given to Miami Beach residents and those registered with CARD.

This is not the first time that UM-NSU CARD has hosted programs for autistic children. In the past, the center has held summer camps, beach parties for families, movie nights and Christmas parties. For this year’s spring break camp, UM-NSU CARD was inspired by a similar surfing camp program for autistic children in California.

When they are not running free programs, UM-NSU CARD provides services, such as educational and psychological services, to nearly 4,000 individuals with autism living in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties. These services and other research initiatives also extend to their families and the professionals who serve them.

For more information about this event or UM-NSU CARD, please visit umcard.org or call 1-800-AUTISM, ext.1.

Natalie Riera may be contacted at n.riera@umiami.edu.

March 27, 2008

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Either the Miami Hurricanes get a collective adrenaline rush from heart-palpitating fourth quarters, ...

Mark Richt is not overly concerned with depth. Not when the eighth-ranked Miami Hurricanes (6-0, 4-0 ...

After jumping three spots from No. 10 to No. 7 last week in the Amway Coaches Poll (one spot better ...

University of Miami weak-side linebacker Michael Pinckney is definitely old-school Miami Hurricane. ...

The question came straight at Ahmmon Richards, like a tight spiral. And this time, he was locked in. ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

The Hurricanes grabbed four interceptions and another ACC victory as they defeated Syracuse, 27-19, ...

The Miami women's tennis team wrapped up play Sunday the ITA Southeast Regional Championships P ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

Kolby Bird had a career-high 21 kills, but the Hurricanes dropped a five-set battle to Notre Dame on ...

The Miami soccer team recognized its four seniors Sunday afternoon and then dropped a hard-fought 2- ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.