A while back, a Sydney based doctor Dr. James Best announced on social media that he would be going on a backpacking trip across Africa with his autistic son, Sam.
The Reaction of Social Media
Dr. Best got loads of negative comments on social media about this would be a negative experience for the child.
Sam is a teenage boy who excels in subjects such as math and computer coding and reprogramming and can pick up new concepts instantaneously. But, when it comes to starting conversations with strangers and making decisions on his own, he was not able to do it on his own.
Dr. Best’s Confidence
Dr. Best – who specializes in the treatment of autism – on the other hand, felt that this was the best way to treat his child. He had tried everything to help Sam become more confident with his social skills but was not able to succeed to the extent that he desired. Dr. Best felt that this was a way that would truly make a difference.
About the Trip
Sam was accompanied by both of his parents, and the trip was six months long.
In order to go on this trip, Dr. Best left his job and Sam’s parents decided to sell the family home to fund the trip.
The Result of the Trip
Throughout the trip, Sam was recorded to study his eye contact with people, his conversation with strangers, among many other things. At the end of this trip, Sam had become a more relaxed and comfortable child, with a 78% increase in eye contact and a 75% decrease in abrupt change in the topic during a conversation.
Dr. Best feels that this is not only a positive result for his child, but also for the study of autism.
Want to send in a story? Click here
Want to read more?