I have moved over to WhittereronAutism.com. Please follow the link to find me there. Hope to see you after the jump! :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Dreaded Telly

The reason
Well that’s a relief, at least I know why they’re autistic now. Nothing to do with mercury poisoning, the MMR vaccine, Thimerosol, refrigerator mother or luck, just too much telly. Fancy that! Who’d have thought it? Not a cure of course but a cause. I haven’t had time to check out whether it’s really too much telly or just any telly, but it doesn’t really matter now as they’ve already been contaminated. It’s great, now I have someone else to blame. And there was me thinking that Leaky Gut Syndrome was the answer. When we first came to America we didn’t even have a television as we didn’t think there was anything worth watching then, nor did we know anything about the ‘Theory of Mind.’ We were drawn in after a while though, tempted by public television and the small entertainment budget of immigrants. But I think that was their father’s fault, which ties in with the theory of the ‘Extreme Male Brain.’ By the time the children started arriving we discovered a few programs for little children. I always thought it was Barney and his social skills training that did the damage, but now I’m not so sure whether I should perhaps be looking at Elmo in a whole new light. These days, having branched out into cable TV, clearly I need look no further than Spongebob and his rabble. A curse on all their houses for warping my children. I’m an American now, so perhaps I should sue somebody, anybody. Who cares about parental responsibility, we were duped, it was supposed to be educational not corrupting. Nothing to do with faulty neurons after all, what luck!
It’s a shame really as it removes one of many, many tools in my arsenal of bribes to motivate them, and you need a great deal of motivation with autistic children. It’s only one of many, but it’s a powerful one. It’s the solution to any number of obstacles in the average day, a whole laundry list of achievements can gradually be built up with the promise of telly at the end of the day; get dressed, use the toilet, wash your hands, the list goes on and on. I know there other rewards such as verbal praise, a high five, a hug but the autistic child is not motivated by such trivialities, or at least mine aren’t, but that’s probably because I’m a refrigerator mom.
Never mind, like many parents above all other things, 30 minutes of telly means that I can prepare dinner and don’t say it would be better if I allowed them to help, it would and I sometimes do, but their fine and gross motor skills are a challenge for all of us. I suspect that the computer is equally to blame. But when alls said and done, I blame the dodgy gene pool myself.


iamnasra said...

First time in ur blog Loved this info ..thanks for sharing

iamnasra said...

Do share us more info related to Autsim and even on other special needs

Pecos Blue said...

Thank you for stopping by and for your comments. I could not believe this when I heard it on Slate.com

Anonymous said...

I liked this post, Thanks for writing it. Apparently those of us who are dealing day to day with kids with autism and who are looking for answers, can at least get some comic relief from this "researcher".

The only up side, as I would see it, would be that if this Television/Autism link were true we could all sue the TV industry and split the proceeds to better educate our little ones (and big ones) who have autism.

Lisa/Jedi said...

Thanks for the invite to your blog, McEwen. I love your perspective on being an autism mom! I love your humour :) Please keep writing...

Jerry Grasso said...

I'm not buying it. Here's why: Me, I'm from a generation of kids that had the first round of Moms working...and we were truly latch key - none of this nanny malarkey! So what did we do? We watch reel after reel of reruns of Gilligans Island, My Three Sons, Sigmund The Sea Monster, Land of the Lost, Super Friends....all the way until we stopped, bleary eyed, set the table for dinner and then went back to the tube.

I seem to think I'm a functioning member of society. That may be in my imagination, but that still means I'm not autistic because then I wouldn't have an imagination.

TV has its drawbacks FOR ALL CHILDREN. And, adults, for that matter. But I hear you, we use it as a tool...and a device to sometimes sleep in beyond 5:45-6:00am when the boy's brain automatically wakes him up. :-)


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