This week, Squeaker went to a day camp (9am – 1pm) through our local Autism Society chapter. He didn’t go the first week due to him being sick and because I wanted to let them get through their first week to work out any kinks before I sent him. This is the first year they’ve done this, so I was being extra cautious.
The Manager and I went to one of the meetings where they talked about the camp and one of the things on the program was horse rides. My question was what they’d do with kids who were afraid of horses. Squeaker is fine with looking at horses (and other animals) but not too keen on touching them or getting too close to them. He’s also fine with looking at things like fire trucks, airplanes, and helicopters, as long as we don’t make him get on them or get more than 2 feet away from them. So we were assured they’d have alternate plans for those who weren’t comfortable with the planned activities.
Well, oddly enough, Squeaker does a lot more for people when he’s away from us. I hear this is common with children. It’s the dancing frog effect. Remember that cartoon? The one with the frog in the box that would dance and sing, but as soon as anyone else was looking, he would sit there? Oh here…see for yourself!
Squeaker is the classic Michigan J. Frog. Only we never get to see him dance.
Yesterday, he got in a helicopter. He sat in the front seat of a helicopter and loved it so much he didn’t want to get out. Then gave the pilot a high five. Oh no, I wasn’t there for that. But they showed me pictures!
Today, he rode a horse. I will say, the counselor who worked with him told me that he was extremely nervous about the horse. He watched from a distance as other kids got on the horse and rode it. They got closer to the horse, and she felt his body tense up. He started saying, “I go back inside. I go back inside…” And that’s totally what we’re used to. Pushing him usually leads to a meltdown. But the counselor promised they’d go inside if he just touched the horse. So, he touched the horse. And then he started back up again with the “I go back inside.” So she told him she didn’t think I’d mind if she gave him two jellybeans for sitting on the horse. And you know what? He did it.
Not only that, but once he got on the horse, he picked up the reins and told the lady to “make it go.” He called himself a cowboy and said, “Yeehaw.” All of this for…not me. Again, they got pictures. But, it would be so awesome if I could experience him doing these things for us. I’m amazed that he touched the horse. Floored that he rode it. And a little sad that I didn’t get to see it.
But, I gave them my email address so they could send me the pictures. I’ll at least have proof that he’s done it. That little stinker…