I should have gotten a picture of him screaming, arching his back, and trying to get out of his father's arms. But I wasn't quick enough.
Instead, this is what the camera captured:
As soon as Papa put his hands in the soil, the spell of sensory overload was broken. The screams and the rigidity were gone as if they never existed.
And when Mama found a worm...
Javier held it.
As the hour outside progressed, the group--the staff, his parents, the other parents, even the other children--were mesmerized by his behavior change.
He enjoyed a story.
He dug in the garden.
He played with his friends.
And when given other opportunities, that would have been overwhelming in a different setting, he welcomed the experience.
Does time spent in nature have positive mental health benefits?
Research and study prove it. If you need to read it try here: http://www.childrenandnature.org/
But the question can be answered from within more readily...
Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.