Friday, February 13, 2009

Hey - It's Just Like Youtube!

Carol Sayer, my nine-year old guy with autism, discovered Youtube during a seemingly endless stretch of snow days last December. He is particularly fond of videos of people going down water slides and videos of marble runs and mazes. He loves watching the marbles go down complicated structures.

Sayer also is fascinated by videos of people enjoying McDonald's play structures. Apparently, McD playlands are not just for kids. More adults than you would think find value in crawling through brightly colored plastic tubes and posting videos of it to share with the world.

As happy I am to see Sayer make connections and use his words, I have been embarrassed a few times when he has exclaimed "It's just like Youtube!" He did this when we went to McDonald's recently, and a few weeks ago when we went to the wonderful North Clackamas Aquatic Park and eyed the water slides. Aren't kids supposed to watch videos and movies and think,"That's just like my life, my school, my family"? Well, maybe life does imitate art more than we think.

The upside is that Youtube is actually expanding Sayer's creative play. He saw a video of a marble run constructed on a staircase, and we subsequently made a few of these together. I know, that sounds self-serving as I write it, but we moms of kids with autism take our survival tools where we find them.

And our family is planning to take Sayer to the humongous Great Wolf Lodge water park for his birthday in May. While we won't tell him until shortly before we take off (an hour if I had my way, he has such anticipatory anxiety), I KNOW he will be extra excited because he has seen Great Wolf videos on Youtube. I just hope he doesn't expect me to shoot down those slides, like those perky Youtube moms. Life doesn't imitate art that much.


Jamie said...

We are jealous! We stopped to check out the Great Wolf Lodge last winter, but you have to be a hotel guest to use the water park and we haven't made the time to be back. Have a great time.

Carol said...

Thanks, Jaime. I've heard the thing to do is stay one night, but play all the next day. It seems you can check out in the morning but still use the slides, etc. until 10:00 that night.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, I think you should go for it!

ByJane said...

No, I think "that's just like YouTube" is what most kids would say.

Anonymous said...

Carol...have fun at Great Wolf...I have been told you can check in by 3 or 4 (a little before the actual check in) and stay until 1 the next 24 hours of blissful fun!

I think you should go for it, I would (and I creak a little more than you!).


Anonymous said...

Hello friends, For any of you who live in the Vancouver, Washington area; did you know that you can rent the Parsley center indoor pool (which includes a small slide and a large slide and a hot tub) for a private party by the hour? They provide the lifeguards and you can have all or just some of the jets on. An autism group I belong to did this over the summer. We had a blast, with my husband , my son, and another mom going down the big slide. Yes, I was the chicken who didn't ............but........there is always next time. Hang in there everyone, Pam Otton

Sylvie said...

Well, that's another drawback of having children in the mature thirties instead of the youthful twenties. I went into far fewer tunnels/down slides/up trees than younger mothers, although I did a better job than my own mother, who was never known for more boisterous play. Like her, I guess the pleasure for me comes more in the watching than the participating.