The Long Ride Home: The Extraordinary Journey of Healing That Changed a Child’s Life, by Rupert Isaacson; eBook 2015 Edition; an Extended Review with < My Thoughts > by Sara Luker
2% Tantrums like tsunamis, like storm fronts moving in from nowhere, erupting even in sleep. No language. My son floating away from me, absent, not there. So tantalizingly affectionate one moment and so lost the next.
1% The shaman Ghoste once told me, “Rowan will become gradually less autistic until his ninth year. Then, if you follow instructions, his autism will get less and less, and gradually disappear. But the stuff that’s been driving you crazy, the incontinence, the tantrums, these things will end now. From today.”
I tried to take this in, found I couldn’t. So I just kept listening.
“But to make this happen,” he said, “You must make another healing journey to see a good shaman. It doesn’t have to be me, or in Mongolia even, but a good shaman, somewhere; the Bushmen you know in Africa. But one good healing journey a year for the next three years to make the healing complete…” I nodded, not knowing what to think… three more journeys.
2% I did notice one thing: my son became better outdoors. He tantrummed less, seemed happier, more ‘present’. So we spent hours and hours exploring the little trails in the woods behind our house in the Texas countryside.
< My Thoughts > “I did notice one thing: my son became better outdoors.”
Lock, et al. (2016) quotes a parent in this study who describes the ease of outdoor atmosphere where everyone has time to enjoy activities in a natural setting with other ASD parents from all backgrounds. Parents liked having the support of trained staff, a sense of community and the nonthreatening experiences which they say they would never attempt on their own.
Orsmond et al. (2004) talks of a study which shows similar results, including the parents saying they wouldn’t attempt taking their child to recreational activities without a well-trained support staff. In addition this group of parents felt that although they provided simple outdoor activities with siblings, such as walking to visit neighbors and extended family, it wasn’t enough.
But this ‘shared outdoor enjoyment’ gave them an opportunity to meet peers and to develop relationships with other families, it was even more important than an ‘integrated’ school setting.
11% By May, Rowan had started refusing to go to the toilet and his tantrums were coming back, stronger and stronger, like a rising tide. No longer something one could ignore or explain away by tiredness or grumpy moods.
He was slipping. The hard-won – so very hard-won – gains he’d made in Mongolia were steadily evaporating. Yet I had faith. Ghoste had told us we’d have to make three more journeys to complete, to confirm the healing.
And here we were, good pilgrims, making the first of those three journeys. We spent half a day getting the logistics together, putting through calls - no mean feat. So many strands of my old journalism life coming together.