Some kids on the autism spectrum are “runners,” suddenly taking off when least expected. Traffic, steep places, deep woods, the water’s edge. Tight reins seem to be in order.
Other spectrum kids are the opposite. Clinging to a parent or caregiver, they need nudging, comforting hugs, and more nudging to inch forward.
Our son fell into the cling-hug-nudge category. We parents, teachers and caregivers can become ingrained in our support modes. We forget to experiment with loosening the reins to help a child achieve greater independence.
Getting our son out of his sensory defense shell onto hiking trails took a lot of work. He found a calm and confidence in nature that then carried into more stressful environments.
The first time a helper encouraged me to just let our son walk ahead on his own, I was in panic mode. Over time, he progressed to walking alone at a distance.
From where we’d started, that felt like nothing short of a miracle.
Complex challenges take a lot of time to overcome. But progress happens.
Want to find out how far you can go? Keep on trying.
This week’s Hike Notes introduce Chimney Rock – Point Reyes, an out-and-back hike at the outer reaches of Point Reyes. My heart lifts when visibility from San Francisco is so good that I can see Chimney Rock jutting in the far distance. This is a heavy-on-the-scenic-driving, lighter-on-the-walking type of hike, and as always, blue sky or overcast, the views are stunning.
Please feel free to share. If you’re not able to take one of these Northern California hikes, hopefully you can enjoy the photos!
The list of hikes is getting long! Please check the Quick View Hike List or scroll down the main Hikes page to see the current list of hike notes.
New this week:
Hike Notes 39: Chimney Rock – Point Reyes
Sharing insights and hiking highlights (Hikes, Hike Search by Area) from the special needs caregiver front in San Francisco.