ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – An Orlando waterpark hosted a very special event this weekend for over 40 children with autism and other disabilities.
Above the Wake teamed up with Orlando Watersports Complex for this fun-filled day for the kids. The national nonprofit’s mission is to helps kids with autism overcome obstacles through water sports.
The children learned wakeboarding, ZUP boarding and paddle boarding at the water park Sunday.
“We work with the kids to find out what they want to set as a goal for our time together. It may be as simple as a ride in a tube or on the other end wakeboarding and water skiing.”
Tom Hart, the executive director for Above the Wake, says they believe inclusion is done by creating opportunities and to focus on the child, not the disability.
Water sport activities have been shown to benefit children with sensory issues especially those with autism and cognitive delays.
Swimming in and around water can help children on the autism spectrum improve speech, coordination, social skills, self-esteem, and cognitive processing, according to the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation.
Water also provides a soothing environment for children on the autism spectrum, with the water on the body having a calming effect and reducing any enervating noises.
For more information on the cause, visit www.AboveTheWake.org.