...yesterday's occasion was that some of the activities directors and counselors wanted to try out their strategies on real-life Autism Spectrum children, and Gus was happy to give them a rough-and-tough version of his idea of what camp should be like.
He plowed through lovingly prepared craft (complete with visual schedule) activities with the grace of a bell-rung boxer, then decided to lie down in the middle of a music and movement segment and be uncooperative until the actual instruments came out...then he was very good and very intent on playing the drum. He rushed through the hike (very well marked and thoughtfully laid out as a visual scavenger hunt) with nary a stop and finally threw all visual schedules in the mud to go play in the creek, while the other kids dutifully explored the garden. He wasn't the one lowest on the spectrum, but he was the one with the strongest, independent will...he listened little and chose to ignore most of what he heard...I worried that we would be "a hard sell" for a patient and firm counselor, but heaven has sent us Cody, a spirited young man, who laughed hard at Gus' antics and quickly learned a common language to share with Gus, somewhere between mud and messing up the parachute game....
Gus is so excited for camp - and I can't believe I'm actually letting him go, without me there to keep him in line. But I trust that Cody will find a way to lasso Gus' energy and harness his bad-boy attitude into good camp fun.
I adore him already for volunteering to be Gus' counselor.
- Geraldine, posted using BlogPress from my iPad