The summer between high school and college I worked at a summer camp in the Adirondack Mountains. The kids were mostly from Harlem. They were almost all African American, ages 6 to 16. And they were autistic. I was in charge of a cabin of 3 kids, one of whom could sing every the theme song to pretty much every television show. But my biggest challenge was the swimming pond. The older kids, some over six feet tall, sometimes got it into their minds that they were going to go home. That meant attempting to wander into the woods where they would have no idea how to get back. I was the biggest counselor so it fell to me to make sure that didn’t happen and keep them safe. Wrestling with a scared and very strong autistic child is something on the order of horse whispering. It takes calm, compassion, and steady force.
One of my very favorite pieces in our book was by Jeffrey Wallace entitled, “No One Saw a Thing.” It’s about a dad and a boy. A boy who is special.
Enter the new show, “Touch.” Now I’m no Kiefer Sutherland fan. I watched 24 once in a while but he really annoyed me. So I am not inclined to want to like this thing. But this is about a dad and his son. His special son. I watched the pilot and am now hooked. It’s about how autism is this lens into the world viewed from a totally different perspective, in some ways different and in some ways better. Definitely give it a shot.