Sunday, August 1, 2010
Appropriatness and Happiness:
If Tikaani isn't lining up his action figures or playing with his legos, he's watching TV. Not that I mind. I can do my laundry and wash dishes without him shouting "AUNTIE!" But as of late he has been watching "Ni Hao Kai Lan". I keep asking him if he wants to watch Bey Blade or if he wants to get out his Pokemon DVDs or if he wants me to change the channel to Nat Geo. Instead, I get a whine followed by hair pulling, Tikaani-ese for "No no no no, don't do that." So I let him watch it without interruption. As much as it personally embarrassing for me to have my 16 year old to watch something meant for four year olds. I have to simply let it go. If it isn't harmful to others or himself or destructive, I can't really stop him.
Besides, the trade off is that he is learning Mandarin Chinese...that's not really a bad benefit.
((modern setting for essay purposes))
Kim wrote this weeks ago, and I decided to write a response about it. Something that really needs to be touched on as an autist.
I don't see why it is painful for a parent to see their child happy. If your seven year old is still watching Telly Tubbies and bouncing around I don't see how that is heartbreaking or tragic. I don't get why we have to have play with age appropriate games and watch age appropriate TV programs in order to be happy. I don't see why a girl can't play Tonka trucks or a boy with her sister's Barbies. Why is appropriateness and happiness have to interlock?
I guess it bothers me a bit because of the pressure to be just like our typically developing peers. That we putting pressure on kids to interact and share like interests with our peers and not just be happy with what fascinates us. I saw nothing wrong as a fifteen year old to religiously watch "Sagwa: The Chinese Siamese Cat" on PBS. I was happy and my sister and I watched it together (without fighting OhEmGee!) and it was generally a happy time after so much stress from school and Katie and I loved to watch it. Just as we both loved watching Sailor Moon (MOON PRISM POWAAAAAH!) and later Outlaw Star. Should I have been watching shows appropriate to my age and mental level? Yeah, but yet. Those shows were geared towards social protocols and cues that I was rather obvious of. I wasn't interested in who was dating who or what secret Character A was carrying. I didn't get into that until I was at least twenty. I was more interested with the story being told than all the social details. So watched cartoons like "Sagwa" and "Big Guy and Rusty" and "Astro Boy". I was into the story.
The point however is that later I did watch shows like "CSI", "Bones" and "House" which are more for my age level than cartoons. Sure it took me a while, but never the less it came. So I still obsess over cartoons than I do over TV dramas. Yet in end does it actually matter? Why is heartbreaking to see me laughing my head off or grinning like a fool? Why do you have to feel embarrassed when I am rubbing my face on plush animal or lining something up?
Why the very real joy, is the same as the very real pain? Can you answer that?