Surfing and Autism – Clay Marzo

In August of 2009, ESPN profiled Clay Marzo – a professional surfer from Maui, Hawaii (personal note – that’s where I grew up as well).  It’s a great story, especially since at the time Clay was growing up, “autism” and “aspergers” were not words that the general population were familiar with yet.  As a parent, I can relate to feelings that his mother and father share, especially his mother’s “relief” when Clay was diagnosed with aspergers since now, she found resources and individuals that would help her understand Clay more.

Surfer Clay Marzo - photo courtesy of

Clay was born in California but grew up in Lahaina, HI.  Clay is a professional surfer (click here to see his website) and (according to Wikipedia on 12/24/11) is sponsored by a number of companies including Quicksilver, Rockstar and Skull Candy.

The ESPN video can be seen by clicking here.  Also, there is a more recent story on Clay from ABC news that can be found here.

My twins LOVE the water. I wish I had a better picture of them at the beach but here’s one of them at the waterfall at Turtle Bay, HI

Being from Maui and watching my twins enjoy the ocean made me appreciate this story even more.  I’ve heard a lot about autistic children and their connection to animals, specifically horses.  However, there’s also an increasing amount of stores of autistic children and their love for water.  One of our goals for the year is to find more time in the pool / ocean with the boys since they seemed to have really enjoyed it in 2011.

We spent hours last summer at different pools and water parks around our house.  When we were in Hawaii, the kids LOVED the beach and practically ran into the water.  We started swim lessons this past year and plan on continuing it when the weather gets warmer. . . . maybe their love of swimming and the ocean will allow me to get back to Maui more often.  🙂


  1. Beautiful post. I can’t think of a better pair of parents for these two lovelies. Looking forward to more stories, so keep them coming!! Ganbatte ne!!

    • Tsutomu! Our famous Gaijin Tomodachi in Japan! Thanks for visiting! Ganbatte!

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