What we do
and why we do it
Surfing the Spectrum is a not-for-profit Surf Therapy initiative working to positively impact the lives of families, and their children with Autism. In partnership with local surf schools, Surfing the Spectrum conducts “Surfing Events” which connect children with autism to local surfers in order to provide free surf lessons.
Children with Autism are instinctively drawn to bodies of water. Water experiences are understood to have a therapeutic effect for many autistic children, in part because it seems to provide a source of sensory and emotional regulation (National Autism Association). Furthermore the participation of children with disabilities in recreational activities promotes inclusion, minimises deconditioning, optimizes physical functioning and enhances well-being (Murphy, Carbone, & Council on Children with Disabilities, 2008). Surfing the Spectrum has grown as a response to the need and demand for an inclusive ocean focused activity which targets ocean awareness, social inclusion and water safety.
Surfing the Spectrum’s goals are to raise the awareness of autism in the community and provide on-going and sustainable surf training and therapy to autistic children.
Like the sound of what we are doing and can spare some change?
Surfing the Spectrum relies solely on the generosity of community donations and corporate sponsorships in order to deliver these events.
Want to come and experience the froth? We are always seeking land and surf volunteers
to help out at events.
We provide hands on training, a volunteer Tshirt and one of the most smile inducing days
you’ll have this year.
Meet our team
Growing up in Port Macquarie, Aimee spent many of her formative years in, on or around the ocean, appreciating the joy, ease and meditative state surfing provided her throughout that time.
Once she began work as a paediatric Occupational therapist 4 years ago, she saw surfing as the simplest and most natural way to help develop sensory integration skill, motor and postural skills, and emotional regulation in her clients.
Aimee has a passion for utilising nature as a therapeutic tool, and as such, was driven to share this vision to ensure more children have access to alternative therapy opportunities.
This was the formation of Surfing the Spectrum, alongside fellow ocean lover and disability support worker Tahlia Anderson.
Born in Newcastle, Australia, Tahlia grew up surfing all along the east coast as well as overseas. Surfing was her personal form of respite from the day to day grind.
Tahlia became a certified surf coach and shared her love for the ocean and surfing throughout surf schools in Australia and overseas before settling back in Australia.
Tahlia has been working in the disability sector for the past 8 years and has used surfing as a form of release and rehabilitation with clients for the past 3 years.
Knowing exactly how healing and comforting the ocean can be for surfers, Tahlia joined forces with Aimee and combined this concept with her experience and career-based knowledge in disability and autism to start Surfing the Spectrum.