My heart’s beating a little faster because we’re celebrating our love for those on the autism spectrum. Every day, for the next 14 days, I’m going to feature one of our favorite authors, apps, and organizations as a countdown to a huge giveaway of their products. (Now I can feel your heart beating faster too!) Have fun learning about them …and don’t forget to enter the giveaway. (Entry form at the end of this post. Lots of ways to earn extra entries too.)
I’m the executive producer of Flummox and Friends, a live-action comedy for quirky kids. It gives families and classrooms a fun way to learn about the social and emotional world. The main characters are a trio of inventors and their next door neighbors. We think of it as “The Big Bang Theory meets Pee Wee’s Playhouse.” The project was inspired by my experience as a parent of a 9 year old with autism.
I teamed up with Jordan Sadler and Liesl Wenzke Hartmann, experts in social communication, to create something that adults and children could really enjoy together.
We raised money through Kickstarter to shoot a pilot episode that you can watch on our website. We’re about to release a free iPad app that will allow families and educators to view the pilot as well as purchase additional video content that we’ll be adding over time.
I knew from the very beginning that this would have to be a comedy. Primarily because, long before the word autism entered our house, our family had kept close through laughter. And I am constantly reminded that laughter and play are incredibly powerful for my son and other kids like him when it comes to learning and connecting with others.
A lot of kids are still introduced to social skills instruction, sadly, with the implicit message of “You’re doing this wrong. There’s something wrong with you and you need to get with the program.” That’s a terrible starting place for learning.
The comic aspects of Flummox and Friends, I hope, will mean that kids don’t start in that place. They can watch characters that they will relate to in a positive way and think, “It’s funny when Wanda does that. I think I might do that funny thing too. Maybe I can try something different like Wanda is doing.” That’s a more positive place for learning and motivation.
As a parent I am so grateful for the way my son approaches the world, partly because of his autism: unselfconsciously and unapologetically loving what he loves, being who he is.
Find more Flummox and Friends on…
Our premium sponsor is Sensory Goods, a family-owned company founded to meet the needs of people affected by developmental disorders. They are graciously donating a Custom Weighted Blanket as our grand prize! The winner will have the opportunity to pick the weighted blanket that will best fit his/her family’s needs. Their profile will appear on Day 14. (Includes shipping to US. Value up to $205.99)
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