MBAC Story: Ethan’s Camp Experience

Hi, my name is Julie Pursel. My son Ethan is a camper here at Mission Bay Aquatic Center Watersports Camp. Ethan has high functioning autism and he has an aid with him at all times which is basically a counselor that hangs out with him a buddy that kind of keeps him on track, and helps him out when he needs it. This guy is my surf surf instructor, Krispy. and… he’s a great guy. I love hanging out with him. Krispy: I love hanging out with you too buddy. Ethan: yeah. Um Ethan found surfing just by uh watching the other surfers. We moved here about six years ago and he saw some surfers and he said I want to do that. So we said ok and started to get him lessons and ever since then he’s a, he loves to be a surfer. He want’s to be a pro surfer so… Ethan has benefited so much from this camp um The aid has helped kind of keep him on track Whenever I drop him off I know that I don’t have to worry. That I’m not going to get a phone call that he’s done something or has acted out. They have it all under control. When I drop him off, when I pick him up, Ethan did great, they say Ethan did great. We’re gonna surf tomorrow and they’re just very enthusiastic and they take really good care of him. I’m a pretty good surfer. I, I can catch really big waves. I’ve caught an 8-foot wave before. Ethan is so enthused with surfing that’s all he talks about. He talks about what are the swells like today. (inaudible discussion) Julie: What’s the tide? and they discuss the waves. I don’t know anything about it so I’m not sure what they’re saying. but, you know, he talks about it 24/7. Ethan: They (waves) break really fast. Krispy: High tide? Ethan: They go gradual. Krispy: Yup. Julie: I talk to other families and we can all relate that it’s always hard to find whether it’s a school or a camp, um the right support that uh where they can actually help your child and not just maybe babysit them and just kind of watch them from a distance. His experience here has been, is wonderful. Every time I come to get him he’s, he’s so happy. I drop him off and I pick him up and he’s, he’s happy. (laugh)

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