Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Let's Play Ghostbusters!

Who ya gonna call?

The Boy LOVES Ghostbusters. Ever since he saw the first movie he was hooked- and he (and the rest of the family) have seen them a BAZILLION times. We have watched the cartoons (thank you Netflix) and played the video game.  He knows the characters,ghosts,and the equipment, and much like dinosaurs he can tell you aspects of the movies and the characters that just the average fan wouldn't know.

His latest obsession are the videos on YouTube- called Let's Play Ghostbusters- a video game for a system we don't have but apparently, according to The Boy will be getting soon.  

He has now taken to playing Ghostbusters at the after school program- or at least trying to play. This is so awesome- actually PLAYING the game- using his imagination and getting away from the screen!  He really wanted the other boys to play and asked if they could watch the video on my phone.

The Boy then attempted to assign roles and tell them they needed to be following the script- which of course they didn't know. I listened to him try desperately to explain to them what they needed to do, growing more agitated as the other kids tried to tell him they didn't know the words they were supposed to say. Then I heard him tell them "I am going to bring my Alphasmart home and write a script for you to follow so we can play this on Thursday."  The other boys readily agreed and then they ran off to do other things.

Just as I was getting ready to intervene and stop what I saw as a runaway train leading to a meltdown- he CALMED HIMSELF DOWN,  used some  problem solving skills, negotiated with the other kids, CALMED HIMSELF DOWN, and then ran over to tell me all about it. My heart was so happy, I was grinning from ear to ear and I grabbed him in a huge hug. And just like any other neurotypical kid- he gave me a quick squeeze and then ran off to join the other kids.

This is a HUGE milestone!  Kids on the spectrum have such a hard time with imaginative play, and The Boy is no exception. But just because a child has difficulty with a skill doesn't mean they can't learn it. It just takes more work. It is important that we focus on our children's strengths and build on this. And I have been doing exactly that for years- and today was the ultimate payoff- for him and for me.