It has been a loooooong winter. So long, in fact, that I’m presently scheming to spray paint our yard green. Just the upper crust of the remaining TWO FEET of snow, mind you. I am nothing if not environmentally friendly. *toothy smile*
Green insurrection aside, I’ve been squirreled up next to the space heater in my office, spending my time on other warm endeavors: planning our summer break. And this year? It’s gonna be a Costco-sized zinger.
Dedicated readers of this website will already know that I’m a big proponent of early interventions for kiddos with autism. (If you were coming here for the knitting advice, we need to talk.)
In fact, the whole reason we exist is to give away super fun therapies to kiddos on the spectrum. And this summer, we’re taking some of our own medicine.
I got this crazy idea while prepping to interview Rupert Isaacson, author of The Horse Boy. He writes this one line in the book that just blows me away- I can still quote it from memory. (<-- FROM MEMORY, y’all!)
He writes: “What if [his son's] autism, instead of shutting down our lives, instead of signaling the end of all adventure, of all fun, could in fact be the gateway to the greatest adventure of all? What if that were possible?"
This goes way beyond a trip to the grocery store- this is dreamy stuff indeed! And Rupert Isaacson proceeds to take his wife and son on this crazy horse riding, shamanistic autism-healing odyssey to Mongolia.
Leaving me to dream about taking our family’s Autismland staycation on the road this summer, and minting up our own adventure, Kid Gigawatt-style.
So fueled by coffee and the internet, I hatched a plan: our family of five drives from Portland to Portlandia, meeting up with families affected by autism, and having Roman try every fun therapy and activity we can find. Oh, and we make a documentary.
So the morning after my epiphany, I ham-handedly casually floated the idea by my husband as I drove him to work: picture, if you will, a velvet bombshell. And initially, I’m guessing that Jeff probably thought I had fallen and hit my head or something. But after a scant 2 hours, I got a text saying “I’m in.” (I do love him so!)
So it’s on. And we’re driving the long way, from Maine down to the tip of Florida, across the lower states, and on up the west coast. Twenty states, by my reckoning.
And our summer bucket list is all about the things Kid Gigawatt funds. Arts, nature, sports, and nature-based activities like rock climbing, scuba diving, surfing, dolphin therapy, roller skating, trapeze, horseback riding, horticultural, and music therapies.
We’ve been watching documentaries, learning to use equipment, making little video shorts, and reading up. I’m wrangling all the deets, and confess that I’m starting to get a little anxious now that we only have 3 months left to lego this thing together.
So y’all, I need all the help I can get here. PLEASE drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or write in the comments below with ideas on therapies or activities we should try, places to stop, and/or people to meet on our tour. It’s gonna be all autism, all the time.
And kindly send this post along to any fun spectrum-ful people you know who’ll be in our quirky trajectory along the outer edges of America. We’d love to meet you!
PS Be sure to like us on Facebook to keep up with our plans + wanderings!