July 28, 2005
Fortune Favors The Bold
Pint-sized autistic boy reaches amazing heights
Posted: 07/27/2005 10:47 am
Aidan is only 7-years-old but has already climbed nearly 90 summits
He's accomplished something most adults will never achieve and he's only 7-years-old but age isn't the only thing Aidan Gold has had to overcome.
Aidan Gold of Bothell, Washington is already reaching for the stars and never was he closer to them than when he summited Mount Rainier. His parents have the pictures to prove it and others on Rainier were shocked to pass this pint size climber.
Warren Gold, Aidan's father, says, "Everyone would stop and wait and watch. Part of it was curiosity and part of it people were just concerned about him."
Aidan says no need to worry. He's a veteran who's climbed many a mountain. His parents are avid climbers and early on Aidan started following in their footsteps quite literally.
"I think I have the focus," Aidan says.
That focus comes from a type of autism called Asperger's Syndrome.
"What seems to come with this is an intense ability to focus on things the child is interested in,” says Warren.
It allows Aidan do amazing tasks, like create elaborate origami and climb 14,000 peaks to the awe of others.
His parents admit they've gotten questions about safety. "To be honest, I think it's more dangerous to drive on our freeways. In the mountains we can control our risks to a high degree," Warren says.
What is undeniable is this young boy's ability to take his disability and make
it into an advantage.
"I don't think we really realized what a blessing it really was," says Warren
The Golds say they have found no official record of who is the youngest
to climb Mount Rainier but they've been told that Aidan is not the first 7-year-
old to reach the peak.