It’s hard not to think about how different our lives are due to this diagnosis Brian has. On any given day, autism shakes things up. Some days we have to change our list of errands because it’s apparent that just one more transition will send him over the edge. Sometimes it’s just the ten extra minutes we have to take to truly prep Brian for any changes in his day. Other days it’s soothing tears and applying Neosporin to the latest hand bite. Sometimes it’s things that are just second nature that we don’t really even think about anymore. And some days it’s so hard that autism is the only thing I think of through the day.
However, every once in a while there is an afternoon that he’s just one of the kids.
Yesterday was one of those days.
We went for a hike, the four of us plus my sister, two nieces, my mother and my stepfather. It was somewhat nice for Maine (high 40s/low 50s) and we were all on vacation so we thought we’d take advantage of it.
Brian is in his element when he is in the woods. He loves it.
I know stepping away from all the environmental stimuli that our world is full of and stepping into the quiet woods is an amazing feeling. I can only imagine that feeling is multiplied by 100 for individuals on the spectrum who also deal with sensory processing disorder.
The only sounds you hear are the leaves rustling, the laughter of your brother and your cousin, the water trickling…
There is a clear path of where you are heading, nothing is going to change that plan.
You know what your goal is and you go for it.
Brian often leads the pack when we go hiking. He laughs. He still scripts but they are appropriate- “Here we come!” and “Look! Over there!”. I hardly see any hand flaps until we get to the top where the views command hand flaps.
There is not a single tear, melt down, or moment of anxiety.
He is just one of the kids when we are in the woods.
Autism still slips into my mind…but only because I’m marveling to myself and my husband about how it’s not stopping him on days like this. He is amazing.