Surfers Healing was founded by Israel (Izzy) and Danielle Paskowitz. Their son, Isaiah, was diagnosed with autism at age three. Like many autistic children, he often suffered from sensory overload-- simple sensations could overwhelm him. The ocean was the one place where he seemed to find respite. A former competitive surfer, Israel hit upon an idea -- with Isaiah on the front of his surfboard, and Izzy steering from the back, the two spent the day surfing together. Surfing had a profound impact on Isaiah. Israel and Danielle decided they wanted to share this unique therapy with other autistic children. They began to host day camps at the beach where autistic children and their families could be exposed to a completely new experience of surfing.
The Paskowitz family is world renowned as the first family of surfing. A documentary “Surf Wise” depicts the nomadic lifestyle that patriarch Dorian Doc Paskowitz, his wife Juliette and nine kids lived – surfing and living a clean lifestyle. Today, Izzy Paskowitz’s family life with autism was featured in an Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) program titled “The Swell Life.”