Mountain Memories

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My friend Kaegan lives in Colorado. I just returned from visiting him and his family. Can my trip have been any better? I don’t think so. I am so grateful to have a friend in Kaegan in the first place. I never had a friend like me before. Kaegan was the first person I ever saw communicating with a letter board. I was moved and amazed and inspired. Now we are great friends and we share a similar vision of a community of people like us living and working together.

A lot happened during my visit. We did so many things and my letter board skills grew with the help of Kaegan’s mom Josha. She is a great teacher. My mom worked with Kaegan and they had some breakthroughs of their own, ending with an epic story they wrote together.

The only negative thing that happened was that I got dysregulated and bit Kaegan’s hand. Of course, he was dysregulated too and put his hand over my mouth in an impulsive move. My bite was impulsive too. We were so worked up. It was a perfect storm for our “caveman” motor impulses to take over. We both felt so guilty that we spent the next day worked up and apologizing back and forth to each other. My mom finally suggested we create an infinity forgiveness card. It was a funny idea but a good one. This way maybe we won’t spend time feeling so bad and apologizing for things we can’t control. It does suck that our bodies get out of control but dwelling on those moments does not help. They don’t define us, as Josha pointed out to Kaegan and I. My sharing this is not to stir up sympathy, but to help you see what our motor impulses can sometimes do. And that by working through those moments, we come out stronger and more in control. We are strong guys.

The other fantastic breakthrough I had was working on my fear of dogs with the help of Ricky, Kaegan and Josha’s dog. He was too cute and insisted on following me around. He was too sneaky as well. My mom and I had to go after him when he snuck out the front door which had not latched closed. It looked closed, but crafty Ricky knew better. My thought is that Ricky purposely appears to be incredibly clueless, but he knows exactly what he is doing. The best part was getting to take Ricky for a walk and when Ricky made himself at home in my lap. I wanted to be more comfortable with dogs and Ricky made it easy by being persistent, but not overly hyper or slobbery. We took to each other and that was so cool.

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There were many other fantastic adventures that Kaegan and I shared, like hiking in the mountains (the fall colors were gorgeous) and kayaking on the lake, but my final favorite thing was going on a trail ride at High Bridge Ranch. I was so excited to get back on a horse. I used to take therapy riding many years ago when I lived in Arizona. I love horses. They are more to my liking than dogs because they move more slowly and talk to my soul–they calm me. When I am on a horse, the movement of my body joins with the horse–it becomes relaxed and purposeful. We set out on a trail with the mountains rising behind us and the sun and cool breeze on our faces. It was spectacular. Of course, Kaegan and I both want horses now.

I loved my visit with Kaegan. It was more difficult to leave than I can say. I experience a level of acceptance and inclusion when I am with Kaegan and his family that I want to have all the time. Our families and us “strong guys” will some day create a community that will have this sort of ideal. Stay tuned.

Best Wishes,

Ian

2 thoughts on “Mountain Memories

  1. Andrea Funkhouser

    Beautiful recounting of what sounds like a great trip. Loved the photos! And kudos for also sharing your “learning” moment. That helps those of us not on the spectrum to better understand challenges you face controlling your body.

    When did you get so tall? Have you outgrown your Dad?

    Andy Funkhouser

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked my blog. It was a great trip. I was hoping to give some insight into my dysregulation. It does help to be able to spell about it.

      I am taller than my dad! I have grown mostly in the last year.

      Thanks for continuing to follow my blog.

      Like

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