Dying/broken/forgiven.... now I begin

Born: 17-06-56....gemini.... monkey
re-born: 3-09-80
born again\found: 14-04-08
other notable dates: 10-03-68; 03-09-87; 23-03-96;
1-05-98; 31-01-02; 5-04-04

Interests: movement, stressed/transgressive embodiment, lived experience (body\space\time\relation)
expression ( word, dance, text, image, story, music, poetics)
learning, yielding......

Hopes for the blog:
offer up the wild intersectedness of lived experience and engage others in creative, expressive, perhaps irreverant, hopefully playful, and respectful encounters....
enact kindness
create moments of pause for disclosure, discovery, stillness

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Autism camp encore: rites of passage

I decided to bring back one more gem before year's wintry end sleeps.... actually, that should be before year end's wintry sleep. Ahem.
I 've written here before about Victoria, my oldest camper. She and I have had lots of ups and downs together. The summer in question, she obsessed about her personal space even more than her usual 10 foot radius tactile defensive zone. We knew how to give her a wide berth. New campers are always interesting, however. Victoria is their rite of passage.
Andrew was a scrawny little 13 year old with overactive hormones and underdeveloped impulse control. He also had a thing for breasts.
"I'm gonna punch that fu#$@ng little weasel in the face if he comes close to me again " Victoria announces this to me as we walked into the gym on day 2 of camp. I do all the appropriate re-directs. She backs down, knowing I respect her. Andrew manages to make the rounds throughout the day poking and grabbing and pinching, not so surreptitiously copping a feel every chance he gets..... he is a teenager and after all is said and done, he is autistic, he's not dead.....
the day end de-brief has numerous accounts of his transgressions. The task of addressing Andrew's touchy-feely tendencies falls to me, the camp alpha.
" Hands to yourself, Andrew," I prompt him all through day 3, then down the scale to " no touching" and finally to blocking him from grabbing me. He's got that squirmy kind of strength I hate. " Andrew" I say as I hold his two hands away from my chest " some day you're going to touch the wrong person."
" So what" he says " I can't help it.... it's an impulse control problem ... "
I look right at him and he does not flinch. I release his hands and he backs off.
Victoria continues her rant on day 4. " I'm gonna punch out his fu#@&ng lights" she warns me " if he keeps on poking me..." she is pacing and breathing heavily, clearly agitated.
" How's your impulse control today " I ask her, looking up and smiling into her green, wild eyes. She stops moving, her stillness as frightening as her rage, considers me, evenly, and puts her huge hands in her pockets.
" Not good" she says.


  1. I wish we could have my grandson attend your camp. It would do him so much good.

    (Don't know how the counselors and staff might feel about it, though.)


  2. You bring it all back in glorious 3D. Magnificent stuff. Have a great New Year.

  3. Crow-- thanks for the comment... your grandson sounds like a character, and my reading of your blog has allowed me to get some sense of that... you do him justice with your testimony, as I try to do with my campers. glad you enjoyed
    Dave--- well, thanks a lot!! all the best to you as well... see ya in 2010 !!