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, October 23, 2013

...'tis a small thing, but my own....

Tales from Autism camp.... Vignette #3

Meet Walker. Pre-adolescent boy, precocious as hell. Bright, busy, curious.... and did I mention that he is a precocious pre-adolescent boy?
Walker also talks about himself in the third person, but he makes these little announcements, in case anyone working with him needs a bit of time to react.
" Walkerscratchyourface!!!" he delivers in a hideous whisper....
You are looking at his cute, round little cherubic face, thinking, there is no way he will scratch my face, surely..... but while you are thinking this, you really need to be backing up because Walker WILL scratch your face.
He is a pretty good biter as well.  You will have learned to " feed the bite", that is, push your arm (or whatever body part is being bit) deeper into the bite, or push on the back of his head to push him deeper into the bite. Your first instinct, to pull away.... not good!! You may even use the pinch the nose technique, which is effective because eventually, he has to breathe. Walker, however, has adapted.  He can bite with his mouth open so that he can keep breathing while you pinch his nose. The Borg could take lessons from Walker.... he can adapt.
The past two summers he has introduced a special new strategy (although considering it is a pre teenaged boy we are speaking about, this is actually a long standing strategy, pardon the pun.... you'll see what I mean in a moment...). When he wants to do a vehement protest or just be downright impish, he whips down his pants and pulls out his tiny little penis, stretching it to its fullest length. And he, well, sort of brandishes it about for as long as he can before we catch him and get it put away. Of course he is giggling madly all the while he is doing this.... I hope you are getting a visual. It is especially silly looking when he does this dramatic  display of the unit while he is wearing his noise cancelling headphones ( they are huge, btw, .... the headphones, I mean).
Despite his unit displaying antics, Walker is a great kid. He is honest, and, in many ways, is as typical a preteen boy as any other young fella I have worked with over the years.  Even though we cannot let him see our reaction (because then there would be no end of opportunities to see the unit.... ) we do have a good time at our end of the day debrief. He keeps us on our toes. He reminds us that we need to pay attention to the small things, or, we will indeed be paying attention to a small thing.


  1. I really admire those of you who do this. Yesterday we had an incident here at the homeless shelter where I work. A man in a wheelchair is in the middle of the road shouting and anyone who comes by. Deliberately rolling his chair in front of traffic and yelling at drivers. Fortunately, there is little traffic on this street. Several police cars simply drove around him and one stopped and ordered him out of the road, which lasted about 30 seconds. Finally, after we could find no help, I went out to him and yelled at him over his yelling that he had to get out of the road and I wheeled him to the curb. That seemed to work, for about 5 minutes. I didn't go out again, it is what it is. Angels like you, would have gone out again, and again, and again.

  2. Mr. C. -- thanks for the kind words. The situation you describe is complicated.... you were dealing with a man, an adult, with unknown frustrations and fears and inner landscapes beyond what can be grasped in a few moments of trying to do the next right thing. I have worked with Walker for years.....you tried to keep him safe and his dignity intact. This is a good instinct.... and, by the way, did you not mention that you are working at a homeless shelter?! there are lots of ways to be angels, if that is what we are when we are working to be our best selves. thanks for the visit. I always enjoy your comments and keen insights on the intriguing messiness of the everyday world.

  3. I'm immensely grateful that my own "campers" don't have any of Walker's proclivities. Immensely.

  4. Intelliwench..... I have proclivity envy!! Joking.....
    he is a gift.... thanks for the visit and the comment. :)