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Old 26-06-2018, 13:45   #1
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Proud Dad here!

My son is almost 4 years old, he is nonverbal and most likely will be diagnosed with autism.

He and I were out on the boat yesterday and traveled several miles to a Sandy beach to swim. When we were done with the swimming and getting settled for the ride home, he would absolutely not let me drive. I tried everything that normally gets him to sit down safely, he wasn't having it, he wanted to drive. I killed the engine and put him in the water, thinking this redirection would make him forget about driving. Nope, he wanted to drive.

I told him I would work the throttle and he could drive. This 4 year old with a developmental delay who can't tell you what he wants to eat without pointing and has never spoken his own name navigated and steered the boat entire distance back to our dock.

He didn't just have line of sight to our dock and drive straight. That wouldn't have been very amazing I don't think. He had to remember which beach we were at, know we needed to go south several miles, then keep to west side of the channel to avoid the shoal and go to our dock, which looks almost identical to the neighbor's docks. He even cut the wheel at the perfect time so I could put it in reverse, prop walk did its thing and we laid right along side our dock, perfectly. I never touched the wheel.

There are fully functional, boat-owning adults that couldn't have done it any better. Heck, some don't avoid the poorly marked shoal. My own father has seen that shoal with his own eyes when the water was down and didn't remember where it is last week.

When did you know your kid was going to make it as a boater?
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Old 26-06-2018, 13:49   #2
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Re: Proud Dad here!

Your son is a boating Savant! Congrats on finding a connection with him, I'm sure you will be spending much more time on the boat now. Good for you!

Mine is 13 and can't get his face out of an iPad long enough to even enjoy sailing.. Upon returning to the states his comment was "Oh boy, unlimited Internet."
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Old 26-06-2018, 14:01   #3
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Re: Proud Dad here!

That is truly outstanding. What an awesome way to bond with your son.

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Old 26-06-2018, 14:02   #4
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Re: Proud Dad here!

That is truly outstanding. What an awesome way to bond with your son.
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Old 26-06-2018, 15:01   #5
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Re: Proud Dad here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Bacchus View Post
Your son is a boating Savant! Congrats on finding a connection with him, I'm sure you will be spending much more time on the boat now. Good for you!

Mine is 13 and can't get his face out of an iPad long enough to even enjoy sailing.. Upon returning to the states his comment was "Oh boy, unlimited Internet."
We spend a lot of time on the boat, he absolutely loves the water. He also swam a mile earlier this summer, he had his life jacket on and went from one mile bouy to the next as I floated beside on a jet ski.

I truly hope I can keep his love for the water and outdoors fresh as as he gets older.

And next time I see someone hit that shoal I'm going to inform them that my son navigated around it before he was fully potty trained.
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Old 26-06-2018, 15:22   #6
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Re: Proud Dad here!

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And next time I see someone hit that shoal I'm going to inform them that my son navigated around it before he was fully potty trained.
Bragging rights! I love it!

We were struck by lightening almost at George Town, Exumas, Bahamas. Guess what? We had to hand steer the entire way back to Stuart, FL. Little Mr. iPad had to do his share as it is quite tiresome. Interesting thing happened, he started liking the boat.

But he still couldn't wait for unlimited Internet.
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Old 26-06-2018, 15:53   #7
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Re: Proud Dad here!

Wonderful! Get him to swim with Dolphins.
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Old 02-10-2018, 00:04   #8
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Re: Proud Dad here!

I believe Einstein did not talk for a long time. It has been suggested he wanted to do it well. My own daughter was three i think and went on to be top of her class and gained a batchelor of science. She was also a very gifted sailor.
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Old 02-10-2018, 00:18   #9
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Re: Proud Dad here!

Thanks for sharing, it's a great story, and it must be fantastic to find a hidden talent your wee fella has.
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Old 02-10-2018, 04:20   #10
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Re: Proud Dad here!

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Bourne.
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Old 02-10-2018, 16:56   #11
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Re: Proud Dad here!

Amazing
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Old 03-10-2018, 09:37   #12
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Re: Proud Dad here!

What a great time the your family has ahead of you!~!!!!
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Old 03-10-2018, 16:04   #13
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Re: Proud Dad here!

What a fantastic post! I have 2 of my own kids and have been teaching 6th grade for 29 years. I have had many students with varying degrees of autism and other conditions. Whether or not your child is identified on the autism spectrum, it is very important to know autistic children are often extremely bright. Yes they struggle with communication and making social connections, but they have often been my best students. I am really happy for you that you and your son have discovered you both love doing the same stuff! He is probably just as frustrated by his difficulty with communication, and now that he has something to communicate with you about, and show you he can do, I bet he is ecstatic inside. I grew up with a boy who most likely would have been diagnosed with autism had they known more about it back then. He was so brilliant in many ways, but in sailing, a pure genius... he was a sponge for all things nautical. I learned a lot from him, in fact most of what I know about sailing came from him and I used to babysit him!
My own kids at 4 could NOT have done what your son did. You guys are in for a lot of fun together! Keep us posted! Send photos!
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:07   #14
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Re: Proud Dad here!

You folks should see him drive the jet ski! He's wide a$$ open, everywhere.

Of course, we only do these things when we're alone on the water and he seems to understand that. We've lived on this lake for more than half his life, he really is a natural at all things nautical. This lake has 850 miles of shoreline, it's crazy how well he knows his way around it, where the marinas and best beaches are.

I can't wait to get him on a big cruising boat. He's been on one big sport fishing boat and he didn't want to leave it, he's got cruising in his blood. I'm looking hard for something cheap or free so I can make it happen, just haven't come across the right deal yet.
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Old 21-11-2018, 18:02   #15
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Re: Proud Dad here!

Congratulations on your new autopilot.
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