Sponsored by Climbnasium and Inspired by Above Limits, tonight was the first of four Tuesdays where 4 doctoral students each earning his/her DPT, and 9 undergrads studying early childhood development and 2 faculty are working with and studying 12 kids with Autism.  What 20 years of experience has shown us as intuitive is now being demonstrated with actual data and research: climbing is some kind of therapy for kids and young adults with an autism diagnosis.  We checked their pulses and concentration on the way in and out and collected data relating to their efforts and timing on climbing routes of various difficulty.  Watching the parents and students, however, told the qualitative tale: this is like magic.  Smiles were all around as everyone was having fun with very low stress.  Though indoor, with ambient music and lots of strangers; a normalizing effect is somehow achieved by this activity and the kids climbed their butts off.  As we have observed in the past, several kids had a drastic, night and day, change in their demeanor the minute they began each climb.  It is as if an instant medicine is being applied during the time of the climb. Somehow, the focus and energy required for climbing matches the attention and energy frequency delivered by the kids, naturally.  Parents’ and faculty advisers’ expectations were blown away.  I became emotional; what else is new.

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