Lake St Clair

Day 17
We are definitely getting our cold weather experience here at Lake St Clair. It was freezing this morning! We set off on our morning walk about 9am and when we got down to the lake it was still completely misty.
L could not resist temptation and walked straight into the water. His shoes & socks got completely soaked so we took them off & sat in the sun warming our tropical bones. L just does not feel the heat or cold in the same way as I do. So he played in the shallows with his jeans rolled up – but ended up soaking them as well. The water temp is around 4 degrees celsius! He did not care in the least!
It’s incredibly beautiful here!

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Walking & Talking

Day 15
Another great day at narawntapu. A big morning walk out onto the flatland that stretches out in front of the farm house we are staying in helped L to start the day off happy & calm. Then we went off to explore the inlet which opens out onto the Bass Straight. Calm water & a few more clouds but lovely and warm in the sun. The kids had a wonderful time. The sand was soft & boggy but the pebbles were just amazing!
L was repeating a few key phrases today ‘It’s nice. Yes, it IS nice’ said over and over. Then later, when we had been looking through the newspaper and my friend had pointed out a map of Australia to him, it was ‘Australia, it’s Australia!’
We set out at about 4.30 for a walk to see the wombats & kangaroos & wallabies who all come out onto the flatland to feed. At school L has been learning about ‘living/non-living’ so we talked about this, asking him to identify what was living or non-living. He surprised me by being remarkably accurate. We ended up staying out to see if we could watch the blood moon rise. We did see it but only for a minute before it went behind the clouds. Almost two hours later we made it back home for a quick dinner, a cup of tea, a hot shower and a warm bed.

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Road Trip

Day 13
We hit the road today, heading north to the Narawntapu National Park.
It makes me realise what an amazing distance we have travelled in our autism adventure.
The first road trip I did with L was the most hellish 4 hours of my life! Non-stop screaming and distress – it was awful for him, for me, for everyone. Nothing could help him to feel safe and secure.
Today was a dream by comparison. He was able to conceptualise that we would be going for a drive and be happy not knowing the destination. Instead, he wore his Bluetooth headphones and played with the iPad, listening to music, playing games and enjoying himself.
We stopped for lunch at a cafe that had an outdoor garden. So he was able to have run & leap about.
More & more driving until we finally reached our destination at dusk. We are staying in an old farm house in the park. It’s used by the rangers who stay & work up here. It’s full of cast off furniture & horrible old carpet but we are having a lovely time!

We’ve got the fire going

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Oh Mona!

Day 12
Today we found the best sensory room I have yet to experience. L loved it! We all did.
It was at MONA the museum of old & new art.
We called it the ‘pink & blue room’. Here’s why:

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We had so much fun there. We saw things we’d never seen, we were amazed, delighted and at times confused.
I love seeing kids experiencing art. They are so fresh & honest in their response. I felt like a kid too as we went from room to room seeing the unexpected & the unbelievable.
For an autistic kid there were many wonderful experiences – everything from jumping on a sky high trampoline overlooking the Derwent River to watching jungle book surrounded by some of the original character drawings to a large dark room full of old lounge chairs & old tv’s (screen heaven) to the fabulous pink & blue room.
Oh Mona!

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School Hols

Day 7

It’s school holidays here in Australia. It’s a bit confusing for L. He keeps checking on whether the bus is coming in the morning. I tell him ‘No darling, we’re on holidays! No school!’

I think he’d rather go to school.

It’s nice to hang out with him though. We are very unstructured in the holidays, so it takes him a little while to ease into the holiday schedule.

Soon though, we’ll be going way out of the comfort zone.

We’ll be getting onto a plane and heading south, to the cold (for us) weather of our little apple isle, Tasmania.

Time to break out the social story – We are going on a Plane.

For those of you who don’t know…Tasmania is here

Tasmania

quite close to Antartica!

We’ll be staying here

Narawntapu

 and here

Lake St Clair

 

and seeing lots of these

Wallaby

and these

Wombats

 

I’ve always found that going on a holiday is far more rewarding than challenging for my little guy. He loves to be out in the natural world, taking the air and letting his senses reign.

I hope I’m right!!

I’ll let you know.