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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Freaky Videos

As y'all have probably noticed, I've not been on-line much lately...well, at least not blogging. Finals week is over, but I'm drained.

Yet, I do have a question...in story form.

My son, Alex, loves Veggie Tales. It's a cute Christian video series that teaches moral lessons in a fun, cartoon style. However, it started out pretty strapped for cash, and has become a big success. As I said, Alex loves watching them...unless we switch between contemporary videos and the original ones that were released. Then, he freaks out. Total autistic meltdown style. It's something that's difficult to describe, but there's something about the difference between the old stuff and the new stuff that's setting him off. Whatever it is nobody else seems able to perceive it.

Does anyone have a clue to what it may be? If it helps, he reacted the same way to a U-Tube video that was "editted." Does anyone who reads this know enough about videos to have a clue what might be setting him off, if so, some explanation would be very much appreciated.

As for me...I've been watching "Ever After," "Everything You Want," and "Never Been Kissed" a lot...which tells you something about the world my mind has vanished to if you recognize any of those movies.


At 6/27/2006 8:43 AM, Blogger Do I have to??? said...

is drew barrymore in everything you want? if so you might just be temporarily obsessed with her. I can't say much I completely understand. as for my little kissing buddies and his movies couldn't tell you. I am not good with technology something your quite aware of seeing as it took forever for me to understand what you were trying to say while explaining to me how to change the font color or add a link to my blog. give the boys a kiss for me.
Love you

At 6/27/2006 9:14 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

No, she's not. Nor have I seen some of her other movies like "Riding in Cars with Boys." They're all ideallic romance movies, honey. You see, I'm supposed to have finished re-writing my very romatic/family love story by now and I still haven't finished the re-write. I don't know whether it's a creative process...or avoidance.

At 6/27/2006 9:24 AM, Blogger Do I have to??? said...

my guess would be avoidance or you just really need a romantic night alone with your hubby. After 8 years maybe you just want to get swept off your feet again!! and what are you doing awake the suns out??

At 6/27/2006 9:44 AM, Anonymous And Another Thing said...

Stephanie: one thing I learned from dealing with my son's autism is that he had this fantastic memory. I mean everything was available for recall. When you add to that the fact that routine is very important, I can understand Alex getting freaked. His memory tells him what to expect but the new stuff disrupts the routine.

When Conor was little his mother went nuts when she took him in the stroller in town. He freaked at every street crossing. So I did an experiment....I stopped and got the best eye contact I could and explained that we were going to now cross the street; go into that store, etc. And he didn't fuss.

When he was older he would get antsy in town, so I would challenge him to run to a telephone pole; touch it; and run back as fast as he could. He loved it because it was routine and diverted his mind to a channel he was comfortable in.

I don't know if that helps at all, but it is what I remember.

At 6/27/2006 11:03 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Honey, I have to stay up. The hubby has an appointment and I already (accidentally) blew off an appointment yesterday that I should have. Besides, it'll give me a chance to say hi to the hottie for you.

...More latter. I'm late, now that I mention it.

At 6/27/2006 12:07 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Honey, I talked to the hottie. He says hi, btw. The way you spell his name is correct, but the way I pronounce it is correct...the fact that the spelling and the pronounciation do not go together...well that's just bizarre.

At 6/27/2006 12:11 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

And Another Thing,

Perhaps he's remembering something about the video (vcr tape) that isn't on the DVD? I don't know. But I got him something I was sure he would enjoy, and he reacted the exact opposite. He even took my hand and pulled me to his bed for the first time ever...presumably to get away from the offensive video. I'm at a loss at this point. He also when dead quiet, which is not Alex's usual state dispite the non-verbality of him (I don't care if it's really a word...I'm making it a word ;-) ). It's almost enough to make me write Veggie Tales and ask 'em what's different.

At 6/27/2006 1:15 PM, Blogger historymike said...

Agreed with And Another Thing. Your son likely sees something different that - to him - is very significant, and he objects to the changes.

My son has Asperger syndrome (a PDD-spectrum cousin of autism), and he is extremely resistant to change.

He, too, has an incredible memory, and dislikes when things do not follow the order that is in his head.

As far as solutions, my guess is that this is a phase he will grow out of, or at least to which he will become less resistant.

At 6/27/2006 2:38 PM, Blogger David Schantz said...

For what it's worth.The lady that used to live across the street from us had a 17 year old Down Syndrome Son. He didn't want anything in the house changed. Rearanged furniture, a new picture on the wall, anything different would set him off. In my case the routine (when watching a video) is, turn on TV, turn on VHS/DVD player, put in disk or tape, push play, sit down and go to sleep. Wife or Grand Daughter will wake me when it's over.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

At 6/28/2006 5:10 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...


"As far as solutions, my guess is that this is a phase he will grow out of, or at least to which he will become less resistant."

He usually gets used to the videos after a while, though it's hard to let his brothers watch them when they aggrivate him like that. But, as per our past experiences with this, usually after three or four videos he's able to handle it and even enjoy the video. It's just the in-between time... Is the process of making him less sensative to whatever's bothering him worth it? Is the difference he senses that we don't something significant that's going to rev him up even after he stops freaking out about the video? Perhaps if I understood what was triggering the reaction I'd be better able to answer those questions.

At 6/28/2006 5:12 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...


I guess part of it is that the video we had was a vcr tape and this is a dvd...to me everything else is the same and he used to really like the movie.

And yes, the night time routine for the boys, especially for Willy, isn't all that different. If I put in enough videos, then they'll eventually fall asleep no matter how determined they are.

At 6/30/2006 9:50 AM, Blogger jumpmaster_82_abn said...

Possibly the number of frames per second of the video vs the DVD is the monster. I don't know what, if any, difference there is. I do know that typically VHS shows 60 frames/second. Don't know what a DVD would be, as it is digital. At any rate, with the heightened sensory awareness (my autistic son is very noise aware) maybe he is actually able to see a difference in the visual presentation.
Does he do this for other videos vs DVDs?
PS- LOVE the priates who don't do anything!!!
PPS- Your bookshelf answer is posted on my blog.

At 7/02/2006 12:03 PM, Blogger David Schantz said...

I hope you all have a Safe and Happy Independence Day Weekend.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

At 7/03/2006 12:17 PM, Blogger Lisa Renee said...

I'm guessing it's the switch between the VCR and the DVD versions. Either the frame differences or how you turn on the movie. How about starting a DVD version when he is out of the room then brining him in to watch it? If he reacts the same then he is sensing the difference between the DVD and VCR - if he doesn't? Could be the initial difference of how the movie is played.

At 7/04/2006 7:56 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

I thank you all for responding. I suspect it is the wave-length thing...or something similiar, because it was the movie itself that was giving Alex fits, not the initial start up procedure. However, I am happy to report that Alex has now adjusted to the difference...whatever it was...and is now not only watching it peaceably, but he's even going so far as to request it. He still gets a little jittery watching it, but he's tolerating it well and doing better and better the more he watches it.


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