Making Surfing Accessible to Children with Disabilities

Founded by Chris Antao, Gnome Surf is a Little Compton, Rhode Island-based non-profit making surfing accessible to kids with disabilities. Through individualized, inclusive programming for students with ADHD, autism, down syndrome, anxiety and adults who struggle with addiction, Gnome utilizes surf therapy—a method of intervention that combines the peacefulness of nature with physical and mental wellbeing—to empower people who are oftentimes overlooked and left out. “These are kids that typically do not get invited to birthday parties or sleepovers,” says Mackenzie Palumbo, a parent of two boys who have autism and surf with Gnome. “To see them having fun doing something that typical kiddos do, it’s a feeling like no other. Every time I stand on that shore and I watch my kids out on the board, I always think to myself, ‘This is what parents of typically developing children must feel like when they watch their kids play baseball or football or soccer.’ And you just feel so proud.” Learn more at PBS.

Image courtesy of PBS