Tales of an Outdoorsman (ongoing)
The outdoorsman project is the story of my autistic son, and how he copes in the outside world. About a year ago, I noticed a change in his self-regulating behavior. Normally when overstimulated, he would react by jumping up and down or flapping his hands. However, within the past year, there’s been a shift, specifically when we venture into the great outdoors. Regardless of the activity, he’s begun taking a different approach to self-soothing. My son will find a seat, literally anywhere, to decompress. If he needs to block out the outside for a few minutes by turning away from everyone or covering his face, then so be it.
At first, these instances would frustrate me, because they would inevitably delay our activity and disrupt our schedule. However as time went on, I realized he needed this little break, to reset himself and calm whatever feelings he was managing internally. Thus, I began using these opportunities myself to enjoy the environment around us, instead of rushing through. Maybe, his moments of solitude are needed for the whole family, not just for him.