Reflections of a painted well…


Scott’s observation of the Murray River…

“When the water is clear you can see things like looking through a window, when the dirty water is mucky you can’t see anything because it looks like a painted well.

Many people would ask how do you travel with a person who has Autism and Tourette’s syndrome, it must be difficult?  It’s one of the best things I have ever done in my whole life.  I am experiencing some of the greatest pleasures anybody can imagine. I have had to stop and open my heart and my eyes to thing that are so simple and true and I am enjoying every moment.

Scott amazes and surprises me every day; the conversions are limited and simple, but worthy.  Autistic people don’t waste any time and observe the truth of our surroundings, Autism doesn’t lack emotion it faces reality and occasionally with humour.

This trip is showing me how much I miss about Scott although he lives with us full-time I haven’t noticed his growth and what skills he has. The other night I was writing and I couldn’t spell a word, so for fun I asked Scott and to my surprise got the correct answer.  I have noticed Scott is educating himself all the time, if he has any queries he just looks it up on Google on his phone. The car is proving to be a very effective class room for both of us. I ask questions, if he doesn’t have the answer, straight to Google and he takes immediate delight in having a clever answer.

He was really excited the other day, because he won the Harry Potter Lego game he has been playing on his Xbox, I said well-done Scott, it’s a great feeling when you win and finish something.  I asked him if he so clever at working out problems and games why he can’t use that cleverness to deal with his Autism and Tourette’s.  He said “mum, I cheat, I won the game because I looked it up on Google and the man told me what to do, I can’t do that with autism.”

Google has given Scott lots of skills including how to spell, I decided to put Scott to work while we’re in the car on our bigger driving days.  I dictate my thoughts to Scott and he writes them down, he really enjoys the thoughts and stories, especially when they are about him.  This has proven to be a very valuable time for both of us and has created a form of conversion and discussion around our trip and our lives.

‘Howlong’ was an interesting stop over.  I noticed a lot of vans were permanent and semi permanent or long-term holiday vans, common in many of the caravan parks in these regions, people add to them and even establish gardens with little fences around their personal space.   It was an older, established park with very good facilities and a worthy place to stay because you can put up camp and then visit the surrounding area, a very special location. But there was a moment when I felt a little sad as there are groups of people in our community that live this way, maybe because of their low-income or limited lifestyle options or in one way or another life has passed them by, but no doubt some have also happily chosen to live in this way, and I can understand why people would, because there is a sense of community, even if some of it is constantly moving on.

This sometimes nomad existence can also be very private and secluded, that doesn’t make it good or bad, there is some choice in it and it makes me think, we really don’t look after each other, there is an imbalance between city and country and rich and poor and after this trip I think each of us should be more conscious of each other. I have spoken to people on my short trip that have time to chat and think about the day and what’s happening in the moment. I feel technology, as good as it is and its necessity to move forward has taken away our innocence, life has lost something very special, some human essence that connects us with nature and the pleasures of the world turning and changing every day, so human.


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