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Kids with autism find freedom among the waves

"Here they're just free. I think the water is very calming to these kids."

Kids on the autism spectrum got a break from their sensory differences Tuesday, by hitting the water for a surf camp sponsored by Helping Enrich Autistic Lives, known as HEAL.

"Here they're just free,” said Leslie Weed, HEAL founder. "I think the water is very calming to these kids."

Many people on the autism spectrum have difficulty processing sensory information, according to the National Autistic Society.

Max Etzkorn, 27 took part in the surf camp, even though he’s completely blind.

His instructor Joe Matacia says that doesn’t stop Max from sensing the water in his own way.

“He feels it,” Matacia said. “He knows. He can hear the waves coming, he knows when to jump. He's amazing."

HEAL has hosted the surf camp since 2006.

“They always hook up with the same surfer year after year,” Weed said.

Max has been surfing with Matacia every summer for 11 years. Even though they see the waves differently, they understand each other.

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