I wanted to describe a profoundly moving experience that I had at the park. Below are pictures of Joe. Joe is a fifth Grader at Washington Irving Elementary school in Tarrytown. I had the honor of climbing with him on Tuesday, May 22. Joe is a person with autism, and it was explained to me that Joe is non-verbal. At first, I was moving Joe’s hands and feet to where they needed to be each step of the way. Little by little, Joe began to anticipate where I was going to move his hands and feet, and beat me to it. After a while Joe was moving by himself. After I would show him what was required for each element, he would progress across on his own. While we were clipping and unclipping him, after a while, he began to help us. The next time I climb with Joe, I am sure that he will be clipping and unclipping by himself, and will probably teach me a thing or two. There were four times during our climb that Joe stopped, looked me in the eye, and rubbed my arm. He also smiled and giggled several times. I am not embarrassed to say that I had tears in my eyes a few times during this amazing adventures.
Why am I writing this? I think that it is important to understand that people with autism are just as capable as anyone else of achieving great things and that everybody deserves a chance to be their best self.
Joe is Boundless!!!!!!!!!!!!