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our little bumblebee July 21, 2011

Posted by caizooka in autism parenting.
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I had an interesting train of thought the other day when I was trying to explain how O talks. He is like Bumblebee in the Transformer movies. It makes perfect sense. Bumblebee ‘speaks’ through utilizing different song bits to express his voice. So does O. He will use a snippet of Scooby Doo, then the very next sentence he uses the words of Elmo from Sesame Street, then Ming Ming from Wonder Pets, then Ironman. It’s quite a concoction. But, to us, it’s our norm. In the beginning it’s hard to understand, but we’ve learned to decode what he is saying and hardly even notice whose words, or what character’s words he is using. The point is that although he might be using someone else’s words, we who know him well, can hear his voice. Just like Bumblebee. Although he, too, uses different songs’ words and tunes, it is voice that you hear once you know him.

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laughing so hard my side hurts August 7, 2010

Posted by caizooka in autism, autism parenting.
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Anyone who knows Oliver can’t help but chuckle in his presence. He is funny. Absolutely downright hysterical at times. I think that what is so funny is that he isn’t trying to be funny. He is so sincere but playful at the same time. It’s an interesting combination that can create the perfect storm of laughter that communicates beautifully to all ages and senses of humor.

Today, his teacher at adventure camp asked him what was on his leg. It looked like blood, but in fact it was a drawn on lightening bolt with a red marker. He said, ‘Oh, that is just my lightening bolt of power!’ But, it’s not just the words, it’s the sincerity in which he speaks, and the body language that he uses. He started to talk about his ‘super bark’ in which he goes into great detail about how everyone needs to stand back because the blast is powerful, but he turns his head to the side and shouts, ‘SQUIRREL!’. Then he resumed without pause to his conversation about the ‘super bark’. Man, oh, man. If you are up on your modern kids movies, you’ll recognize that the whole lightening bolt of power and super bark are from the movie, ‘Bolt’, and the ‘squirrel!’ line is from the movie, ‘Up’. The lightening bolt on his leg was drawn to mimic that of Bolt, the dog from the movie with the super bark. Clever, Oliver, very clever.

A lot of what he says is borrowed directly from movies. It is called scripting or delayed echolalia. Oliver uses scripts from movies, shows, or from conversations that he hear. He borrows the tone, inflection, words, and emphasis directly. Oliver does a very clever job of melding together a variety of shows, movies, my words, Peter’s words, Grandma’s words, or Julian’s words. It’s been good for him to be able to utilize others’ words and voices to express his own ideas. We’ve gotten to know a lot about him and it is easier to see his personality emerging from this. The words are still borrowed, his sense of humor and brilliance is shining thru more and more. He manages to stitch together lines from movies to make them his own voice if you listen well.

The way in which he sees the world is clever, and funny, and fun. I love how in this modern world of an unbearable fast past and multiple complexities where we have so little time to stop and listen, that Oliver not only forces you to stop in your very tracks and hear him, but allows you to laugh. I am beginning understand why he doesn’t get lost in our world and creates his own. I am beginning to totally get that. I love laughing with him. He is one hysterical guy.