What is it about nature that makes so many with ASD a little calmer and more at ease?
I have noticed a fundamental change in my 8 year old Aspie over the past few weeks. We have been spending every weekend helping a friend take care of 60 acres, and my Aspie is a new boy.
He always protests going and breaking the routine. No TV or computers out there. So he gets upset as it is time to go. He fuses the entire 2 hour drive.
Then we get there. And this boy who spends all day inside with the TV and video games and computers is now covering all 60 acres. He becomes a fearless explorer. Searching out all the animals and oblivious the dangers of snakes and bears.
He has a self confidence about him. And he has no melt downs (unless his brother picks on him).
So what is it about the woods and the lakes and the mountain that affects my little Aspie? Is it the quiet and solitude of the mountain? If it the lack of sensory overload? Is it a connection with God and nature? Or is it the confidence he finds as he explores?
I think it is all of the above. He is at peace in the quietness of nature. There are just the soothing sounds of water and birds and wind. He is building his confidence as he explores. He is finding a fellowship with the land and he is discovering the awe of Gods wonder. A sense of something bigger than himself. In fact my otherwise shy and quiet Aspie shot his hand up at dinner and asked to say grace.
Where does all this lead me? Maybe we need to get all of our Aspie kids in nature more.
Maybe we just need to empower them to be a bit more independent.
Maybe we need to encourage them to look for God and help them learn that there is an order to life. Something bigger than them is in control. (this last point is always a good idea, but that is for another post).
All I know is this. He is growing a lot in those woods. And I plan to give him every chance he needs to keep growing.