Co-creator and Speech Lanugage Pathologist Liesl Wenzke Hartmann had these reflections recently on watching Flummox and Friends with one of her students.
I watched Flummox recently with a student and really loved seeing how much he connected with it. He is a moderately autistic 10 year old boy with delayed language and processing.
But he gets humor. He always has. So ever since I first met him at age 3, I've looked for opportunities to laugh with him.
My goals for him have changed over the years as he's grown, but I've always included these two goals for myself:
- Make sure he does not lose his “spark.”
- Connect with him and his love of a good joke.
He’s gone from simple fart jokes to understanding that:
"It’s kind of funny when Wanda doesn’t respond to Suzie."
"It’s really funny that the inventors make a robot friend who is not what anyone expected."
"It’s really funny that Professor Flummox is so distracted and making loud crashes."
All of this humor has reached him and piqued his interest enough to start to get him to think about how some of his actions are unexpected and might seem funny to others.
And this gentle, humorous approach continues to increase his understanding of himself and his world and those of us who are in it with him – loving him, appreciating him, laughing with him and above all trying to connect.
Now what kid wouldn’t want to leave their safe inner world and connect with us on those terms?
Do you have a story about the way Flummox and Friends has made a connection with a child you know? Tell us about it at firstname.lastname@example.org!