After college I worked with a young man with a very severe form of Autism. I used to take him to some cliffs on the edge of a mountain range overlooking a large lake basin. When I would pick him up from high school he would be so tweaked out from the sensory overload of that world that he would be unable to sit still, breath deeply or calm his hands. By the time we reached the cliffs he would be winded and starting to calm down. He would plop down cross-legged a few feet from the cliff’s edge and just stare out at the western horizon. His body was finely calm. He was stable and engaged. I always sat just close enough to him in order to grab him should he slip but he never came close. He kept his hands to the smooth granite, palms down. He might have had trouble “being” with other people directly, but through this place we were able to “be” with the same place, at the same time, and in that way share a connection that did not exist elsewhere.
Posted: Thursday, April 22nd, 2010