Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney is a fascinating read. This is a really long excerpt with a book coming out (by a Disney publisher in interests of disclosure) in a few months. Also, I have a 9 year old daughter on the autism spectrum so this subject interests me more than most folks. That said, if you have the time, it’s really something unique that may grab you. Trust me, it’s not a national enquirer style “vaccinated autistic childn healed by Mickey Mouse hug” story.
Long story short, it’s the journey of a family with the youngest of two boys who went from a normal kid at age three to becoming a non verbal child on the spectrum very quickly. And then the familial 20 year journey, as narrated by the father. Disney animation movies were extremely popular, as they are with many kids, and became a key family activity.
The only quote I will share from the teaser first 2 paragraphs: **In our first year in Washington, our son disappeared.
Just shy of his 3rd birthday, an engaged, chatty child, full of typical speech — “I love you,” “Where are my Ninja Turtles?” “Let’s get ice cream!” — fell silent. He cried, inconsolably. Didn’t sleep. Wouldn’t make eye contact. His only word was “juice.”**
Spoilers to follow:
Fast forward a few non-verbal years, and thousands of viewings of Disney movies, and their son uttered his first real words, and they came from a Disney movie. Thus the next phase of the journey began where the family discovered how to use Disney as a tool for communication. Walt Disney always had a guiding principle of the movies should be understood even without the accompanying voice track. For a child that is effectively locked in without speech, this can be pretty interesting.
I’m still thinking about the article, parallels with my child, implications as a tool kit for my child, etc. It touches close to home and I’ll be back.
Anyhoo, throwing this out as something that you may find fascinating on many levels and not just autism.
(Mods, I wasn’t sure if this should be MPSIMS or Cafe Society).