|At Daisy Chain's centre, Norton, Stockton-on-Tees|
Through both the physical activity and mindfulness practice, I have found that coming out of my comfort zone, whether it is assuming a physical position I am not used to when practising yoga, visiting a place that is new to me or undertaking an activity with people I am not familiar with, it helps to reinforce how I cope with aspects of Asperger's Syndrome, including confusion, stress and anxiety. Also getting to know different people and their outlook on life on a trek in a different, and often extreme environment, I have found has been really good for my continual development of social skills. What makes a group trek so conducive to development of social skills for a trekker with Asperger's Syndrome is that each day is a new start and a new and different challenge, so if you make a social mistake or say the wrong thing one day, fellow trekkers tend to 'move on' from it the next day.
Ultimately, what mountain treks and other related activities can teach us is how to take care of ourselves in extreme environments and situations. Testing human ingenuity in extreme environments from the north and south poles to the Moon has been known to aid innovation. For me, it has helped to reinforce coping skills of being able to adjust to different situations as well as constantly changing climates, both mentally and practically, including knowing what clothing to wear and necessary equipment to have. Such approaches have helped me with independent and coping skills in normal life, including making the best possible use of resources available, including situations where solutions to a problem of ways of coping can't be 'bought'.
|Plaque depicting Robinson Crusoe, Hull|
Stay tuned to Adventures with Autism Works to see how part two of my double challenge for Daisy Chain unfolds and for another exciting announcement I have on return.
A huge thank you to all who have very kindly donated to my challenge, you have helped Daisy Chain raise over £1,000 which will make a huge difference to many families affected by autism. Donations can still be made via my sponsorship page at http://www.justgiving.com/Chris-MitchellGNR/