Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What's in the News?

If your are the parent of a child with Autism, then you are all well too aware of the unusual and unpopular (usually) fixations your child might have. For us, there have been many. It started young with license plates and abc's (popular I've later discovered among the Autistic set), moved on to a USA map puzzle at 3, then a talking globe, and on and on, and on.

Lately, Casey has been incredibly interested in television news programs. This fascination has lasted quite awhile now because I recall late last summer indulging him by driving here and there to look at the various local news stations per his request (He desperately wants to go in one). So yeah, he's been on this for awhile. He loves watching and listening, and noting which newcaster is on that day and when they aren't there and replaced by another anchor, watch out. I often worry about him seeing the bad news stories (we live in the suburbs surrounding Detroit, and there seems to be a lot of bad news stories, it's just fact). But honestly, I don't even think he picks up on any of it. He just loves the cadence of the anchors, the remote control that the weather men usually hold to change the weather screen they are describing, he loves it all. We found an old video tape that we accidentally taped a news cast on after the principle taping subject, and he has been really watching it for the last couple of days now.

This morning after requesting this tape for the upteenth time, I asked him "Why do you want to watch that tape again?", and he answered "Because they have a great news broadcast, good announcers, and a great logo that goes around and around!". Hhhm, couldn't argue with that. I wanted to add something else he might be subconsciously thinking "and I can rewind it over and over again, and it never changes, and that makes me happy!". I know all his secrets.

This love of all things television news, odd as it is, has really brought quite a bit of interaction potential along with it. By interaction, I mean interaction with his father, me, and whoever else will indulge in one his favorite past times "dubbing". "Dubbing" occurs when you put the mute on the news, and you fill in the words yourself! Sounds fun huh? It brings out great joy and happiness, especially when Dad "dubs". "Dubbing" began when he discovered voiced over tv shows and commercials on YouTube. He started small, having me film him talking over commercials and putting them on Youtube. Now, he enjoys huge blocks of time "dubbing" to the news.

If one is lucky enough to be invited to participate, the guest dubber might find that they become the most entertaining person on the planet for those few short minutes, especially if body humor is used in the "dub", and I won't go any farther than that (in other words, throw the word butt or fart in a couple of times, and you're golden).

I'm sure like all of Casey's other "loves", this too shall pass. Secretly though, I can't help but hope it could make him one of the best anchors in the business when he grows up!