Walking to and from my inner-city, bully-dominated, and sensory-nightmare grade school, about ¼ of my route was shaded by magnificent trees.
These trees were so tall and broad that they mostly over-arched the entire width of the street. When I walked under them, I felt like I was in the most beautiful house of God that I could possibly imagine.
And I felt those trees comforting me, bringing me back to a state of peace, knowing they loved me in a mostly-loveless environment.
It turns out that for those of us with autism, my tree experience is the norm, not the exception. And it turns out that, while non-autistic sensory systems are less vivid, non-autistics also experience peace — deep peace — from deepening their sensory experience of nature.
When I attended a recent training about the Principles of Indigenous Medicine taught by a friend who is also a spectrum adult, she asked me to lead a sensory meditation for the people attending.
So many positive comments came my way, plus a few requests that I record one for the attendees to do at home. I realized there was a need, and made a short recording.
In addition to providing it to my friend to mail to the workshop attendees, it seemed worthwhile to share it with you here. Hope you find this kind of sensory meditation as re-connecting and calming as I do!
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We had spoken briefly in Vermont, and I am still interested in knowing about how lighting may have an effect on people with autism. Is there research going on in this area?
My sense is that artificial lighting, when done poorly and without adequate consideration of the stress that excessive glare can create, can be a source of environmental stress. I am very concerned that programs run by the state and utility companies are emphasizing energy efficiency over lighting quality, resulting in the use of a range of less expensive LED fixtures that can have a high glare rating index. Better, somewhat more expensive fixtures can provide less glare. This is not the case of LED light bulbs, which are limited in their lumen output and no different than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs.