Exploring Old Places In A New Way-My Exceptional Son’s Thirst for Going On Walking and Driving Expeditions



I love Michael. He is tireless, has lots of energy, and has a sense of adventure. Sometimes as his Mom, I don’t want to go places after school. It is late afternoon. I am tired after a long workday, plus the fact there is tons of stuff to be done in the house. But for Michael it is boring being home. He is not a child who likes to play with toys. He has always been more interested in people and places. This is a good thing, but I also have to be careful to remind him of the rules of social etiquette when we are out: no kissing or hugging strangers, no talking too loudly, stay close to his father and I. You know, basic rules that most of us know. These are hard for kids on the spectrum to grasp at first, but once it is explained to them, they never forget it. Still, going on our “adventures” as Michael has called them, has taught me a lot about myself, about being spontaneous and about  seizing the moment. Ironically, it took my exceptional son who is so focused on routine and predictability to teach me that. But taught me that he has, and now , I look at our adventures as a chance e to try something new and show Michael that embracing the unknown can be a fun thing.

The last few days we have been taking long walks around our neighborhood. It has been a good workout for both of us, and I know for Michael it has been extremely helpful in getting him to work through the stress of adjusting to school and its responsibilities. Sometimes we will be silent on our walks and sometimes we will talk. I let Michael set the tone. It has helped me see him in another light. He also gets to have some control when he will tell me what streets are where and show me the different twists and turns we can take in heading home. Of course, I always make sure we agree at home on the route. Once we got into a fight as his definition of a short walk and mine were not the same. So now, we go through the itinerary beforehand. And it has been successful.


It is the same when we drive to stores. Michael loves to explore in the Dollar Stores. He equally loves small second hand shops and bookstores, and is happy to window shop and browse seeing where everything is and learning the ins and outs of the store. It is fun as through him, I will inevitably see things I took for granted before, I maybe didn’t notice on the shelves or racks. He is a very keen observer and takes me by the hand showing me all the things there are. It becomes an adventure of learning for both of us and I am always excited to share in these trips with Michael. He is teaching me as much as I am teaching him.

Exceptional Parents, what adventures have you gone on lately with your Exceptional Children? How have they helped you see the world differently? All our children have a unique way of viewing events that look mundane to us. Let them carry you away to that realm of excitement, and see how their faces light up when you are present with them sharing it. That is what real growth is about for both of you. Until next time.


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