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.