19th annual Autism Beach Bash to take place Sunday in Belmar

Autism Family Services of New Jersey says event can be life-changing day of fun for those in autism community

The Autism Beach Bash, the longtime signature event of Autism Family Services of New Jersey that aims to be a life-changing day of fun for those in the autism community, will be held Sunday in Belmar.

The bash, now in its 19th year, aims to bring families living with autism together for a day where children with autism and families ride the waves and find acceptance in the community of autism. The event is free.

The event will feature Surfers Healing, the original surf camp for children with autism whose mission is to enrich the lives of people living with autism by exposing them to the unique experience of surfing. Over 100 children with autism will surf and be given the chance to encounter the waves, to challenge themselves and to try something new.

Autism Family Services of New Jersey CEO Liza Gundell said those who have come in the past have called it a great day. It’s why the group expects families from all over New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Connecticut, Delaware — even Florida and other states.

“Autism Beach Bash has been impacting the lives of those living with autism year after year,” she said. “We encourage families to join us for a day of fun on the beach where we offer complimentary food, exhibitor tents featuring local and statewide services and resources, activities including dancing and yoga, arts and crafts, interactive performances throughout the day and much more.”

More info

For more information about Autism Family Services of New Jersey, call 877-237-4477 or click here.

The rate of children identified on the autism spectrum is 1 in 36 nationally and 1 in 34 in New Jersey. Autism prevalence in the U.S. has continued increase without interruption since 2000, from 0.6% to 2.7%.  According to a study from the Rutgers School of Public Health, the number of children being diagnosed in parts of New Jersey is rising sharply.

“The highest increase is now being seen in children without intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Gundell said. “The Autism Beach Bash provides access to essential information in a supportive environment that promotes kindness and inclusion. We hope everyone will join us in Belmar on Sept. 10 as we bring together the autism community to support the people who need our help.”

Gundell said AFSNJ is grateful for its ongoing partnership and support with the borough of Belmar, which has provided the event’s beach location, first-aid tent, security and more.