Friday, November 5, 2010

Nudism Benefits Autistic Boy

RECENTLY AN INSPIRING story appeared in the Forest Grove New Times, a newspaper serving the Pacific Northwest. It was a first-hand account by the mother of a six year old boy afflicted with autism who found rays of hope in an unlikely place: the local NUDE beach.

You read that correctly. Mother, husband, and son did not even know that the Rooster Rock Recreation Area in which they were hiking would wind up at a place where most patrons strip off, but that's exactly what happened. Her boy, who could not wait to get out of his uncomfortable clothing and into the refreshing water, had no hesitation in shucking his threads. (Those who know young people who have autism also know that, for many, their increased sensitivity to touch often makes clothing especially uncomfortable for them.)

As the story explains further, it did not take mom long to follow her son's example:

I have learned to appreciate the small moments of each day.... Moments of joy

I think for so many people in so many of life’s situations, it is the moments of joy that help us through the challenges. It is facing something terrifying, daunting, and tough that does indeed make the great things seem even more so.

That’s why I knew there was only one thing to do as I stood there on the beach watching my son splash with the biggest, most gleeful smile I have ever seen.

I tossed my swimsuit to my husband who stood there with a bemused – but not surprised – smile and I turned to join my son. Hand in hand, we ran off into the river, laughing all the way.

Editor's note: I am looking for the full story and will post it soon.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The real problem with family naturism

From talking to the young people at Olive Dell, both children and parents have remarked to me about how family unfriendly camps like Glen Eden and Deer Park has become. Much of the problem has to do with GE's lack of a youth program and how they allegedly discourage family membership. Deer Park has a youth program director but most of their kids have flown the coop. One child told me it was the most "unkid-liest place" he's ever visited. There's also a matter of a school tax that GE tries to avoid should they have children as members. Hap Hathaway himself told me this really is no excuse since they have to pay the school tax anyway.

Olive Dell on the other hand has an active "juniors" program, weekly activities and their kitchen staff is made up of their college members. So I see a real a correlation between youth involvement and the future of a naturist resort, particularly in attracting younger members.

To be continued . . .