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The Great Cumbrian outdoors helps Child with Autism...

The following article was written by Jesse's father, Stephen.

This is our five year old son Jesse Evans. Shortly after Jesse’s second birthday he was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Condition.

People with Autism see the world differently to us. Sensory inputs that we process easily without even knowing we’re doing it can be very difficult for some people with this condition.

Jesse Evans
Jesse’s Autism results in him struggling to process many sounds, smells textures and sights. Walking outdoors has always been difficult for Jesse and he easily becomes overloaded resulting in him having severe meltdowns. For this reason we rarely go far from home and our journeys are always pre-planned and considered in advance.

At the start of the month we woke up to a beautiful crisp winters day. We decided to have a short drive from Millom on the west coast of Cumbria to the Lake District National Park.
Jesse Evans
The planned destination was Tarn Hows. Tarn Hows has always been our favourite place in the Lake District as the scenery is breathtaking no matter what time of year you visit it. The walk around the tarn is also short enough and fairly flat to be able to carry a toddler on shoulders if they can not cooperate by walking.

On this particular day, the setting was like a picture postcard. The winters sun reflecting off the glass like water, surrounded by the snow topped mountains in the distance. We arrived on that special day and explained to Jesse that we were going on a bear hunt! (his favourite book).
Jesse Evans
The second we got out the car we realised that Jesse was more relaxed than usual. No traffic noise, no bell chimes every 15 minutes from the local town clock and no crowds of people. Surprisingly Jesse didn’t ask to be picked up and carried as he normally would, so we set off walking towards the tarn.

As we slowly walked on the footpath around the tarn we could noticeably see the relief that he wasn’t having to try and process all the sensory things he normally does. The happiness was written all over his face, and his anxiety was gone. For us as parents that place was like heaven.
Jesse Evans
We couldn’t believe we managed to complete a full lap of the tarn without him asking to be carried and only stopped once for him to have a look at the local herd of cattle.

It was a day in the Lake District that we as a family will never forget, and the first adventure of many planned for the near future!
Jesse Evans


If you would like to follow Jesse’s visits to the Lake District and the rest of his adventures, please follow his personal blog page here.

If you see us out and about please pop over and say hello!

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