Three years ago we traveled back to the city I was born and grew up in that is nestled by the mountains and the ocean. Johnny was two years old and at the time we knew he had developmental challenges in various areas but we did not know he had Autism.
Johnny absolutely loved being in this new sensory environment where the wind howled, the waves either rolled out or crashed in and the air was yummy with its salty taste and smelly with cedar air.
It was here for the first time he stepped into an ocean and laughed as he watched the water move back and forth and splash him. It was something he could watch happen over and over again.
Then Johnny discovered if he stuck his tongue out he could actually taste the air.
I was watching the other day some video of Johnny squealing in delight as he took his Daddy by the hand and tried to run along the shoreline as the waves would come crashing in. At the time I thought he just enjoyed the new sensation of the water coming in and out but watching it now it looks like he thinks the water is chasing him.
In a few days we are going back to this city by the sea this time taking “Princess” who is two for her first visit. I expect that her experience will be different then Johnny’s but I will enjoy seeing my hometown through my little girl’s eyes. As for Johnny, I’m interested in seeing how he reacts to the sea air and the forests again. For my little sensory seeker I suspect he’ll think the city is still his personal smorgasbord.