Geocatching and Autism: A perfect match

ToniBrown_geocache

Toni Brown

Geocoaching helps those with autism get out of their shells

What is geocatching?

noun
a form of treasure hunt using GPS, in which an item is hidden somewhere in the world and its coordinates posted on the Internet, so that GPS users can locate it.
Toni Brown works Texas Parks and Wildlife as a systems analyst and this is where she first discovered geocatching back in 2010. Since then, she has found more than 7,000 caches. It was through geocathing that Toni, who has asperger’s, was able to improve her social relationships and quality of life.

“You know I was able to have fun and meet other geocachers who had the same interest that I did because we all have this love of geocaching so now I fit in somewhere and it’s just made it so much better. It’s fulfilled my life more.”

“It’s opened up the doors for me. You know I used to go to work and go home and now I look forward to getting outside.”

in 2008, Tony Linberg  read about geocaching that was about to change his relationship with his son in a profound way. Tony shares his experiences and adventures of geocatching through his blog as  shadowcacher:

“I’m a father of a 13 years old boy suffering from severe autism spectrum disorder. This is our story about how we utilized Geocaching as a catalyst to first break out of a the psychological prison that we built around ourselves and later to challenge ourselves to dare more in order to discover our limits and take back some of all the things we never thought we would be able to do with our kids.”

Beth Hurley’s shares her experiences about the value of geocaching for her autistic son Ryan. (2010)

 It isn’t just new social skills but geocatching can help create a healthy lifestyle through physical activities and not just for those who are autistic. One parent claims to have lots 25 pounds since starting geocatching.  It can be a family activity for that each member can enjoy.

Geocatching can be found world-wide with caches hidden in the country side and city. Also, there are different levels of searches from beginner to advanced.

To learn more about geocaching visit their website http://www.geocaching.com/  and Facebook page.

You can follow shadowcacher’s adventures on Tony’s blog.

For more information on Texas State Parks Geocache Challenge, visit http://texasstateparks.org/geocache