Optimus Prime aids in Autistic development

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by jon3pnt0, Apr 20, 2008.

  1. jon3pnt0

    jon3pnt0 EpicVoiceGuy

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Posts:
    1,216
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Likes:
    +10
    A happy thread for everyone to read this little story.

    My oldest son Zechariah has Autism Spectrum Disorder and he is MORE than just a handful. He bites himself, kicks and screams when he can't communicate and hurts himself in other ways as well as others around him. But the strangest thing is that Optimus Prime actually calms him down.

    I don't do a bad Optimus impression as some here have already heard, not going to do any self-promotion right now, but when my son is totally out of control, with my best Optimus impression, I'll look at him very seriously and say things like, "Zechary, you must calm down and listen. You must quit crying in order to defeat the Decepticons!" There are other variations to what I tell him with Optimus' voice, but for some reason that voice is so commanding and respected, he IMMEDIATELY calms down and does whatever we need him to do. And always says things back (he doesn't speak very well; usually just repeats what he hears) like, "Yes, sir, Optimus Prime. Let's roll out." When he wants to hear the voice, he'll get right up in my face and say, "Daddy, are you Transformer?" or "...are you Optimus Prime?"

    I get tears sometimes just because something I've loved for 25 years actually appeals to my Autistic son who understands very little and he's only seen just a little bit of TF besides the toys. I only have the old movie, Rebirth of Optimus Prime and the Ultimate Doom for him to watch and he's only seen them a couple of times. He even tries to immitate Optimus' voice in his own way. He knows the opening theme song of the show and likes the REMIX I downloaded off the Sector 7 site. He sings along with the song on his Cyber-stompin' Bumblebee. He loves Optimus so much, I'm getting him the Cyber-stompin' Optimus too.

    Just thought I'd share. No debate here. Which means no one will probably bother posting! :lol 
     
  2. Spekkio

    Spekkio Master of War

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    Posts:
    2,332
    Trophy Points:
    207
    Likes:
    +3
    That's pretty neat. And it kinda jives with how my mind works, too. (Asperger's syndrome - also on the autism spectrum.) People on the spectrum (as you probably know) have what are called perservations - narrow interests that tend to consume our thoughts.

    I know you're not looking for advice, and Primus knows I shouldn't be dispensing it, but it seems like you've identified a perservation. And that's a good thing, because it gives you a gateway into connecting with him. If you can show a connection between Transformers and, say, mathematics, for example....
     
  3. atomicthumbs

    atomicthumbs Bots > Savings Acct

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Posts:
    474
    Trophy Points:
    76
    Likes:
    +0
    That is truly amazing and beautiful! It's great to hear something that incredible and touching. I'm sure he'll love the Cyber-Stomping Optimus Prime quite a lot!
     
  4. jon3pnt0

    jon3pnt0 EpicVoiceGuy

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Posts:
    1,216
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Likes:
    +10
    He actually has several of those and it seems a little bit of a photographic memory to. I can quote nearly any one line from any movie that I know he's seen and as long as I quote it EXACTLY, he can quote the very next line that comes after it.

    He actually is very good at what math he's been introduced to. He was able to count to thirty before he even had a thirty-word vocabulary.

    And yes, I've heard of yours and all other related syndromes related to Autism. His ASD isn't severe, thank the Lord. His ADHD and OSD are much worse... and I always thought ADHD was just made-up to give kids an excuse for just being plain ornery, boy I was wrong.

    And you don't offend me offering advice. It used to bother me, but I've gotten used to it because everyone seems to know someone who knows someone or has a distant relative or friend of the family with SOME disorder and they think it qualifies them as an expert. At least you know of what you speak. Most people that offer advice no less than my wife and I do.

    I'm just exceptionally happy that Transformers has created a bond between us when his window of communication is so small right now. Other things work too like Pixar movies, especially Toy Story and Finding Nemo and he CAN'T GET ENOUGH SPONGEBOB!!! Which I can do a few characters from Toy Story and I excel at just about the whole cast of Spongebob, which he loves. I can always get him to cooperate better by asking him to do something in a voice of a character he really likes instead of my own. His Peter Cullen impression is cute at five years old, even if he weren't Autistic.
     
  5. swarlock

    swarlock Autobot Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2002
    Posts:
    1,565
    Trophy Points:
    176
    Likes:
    +0
    These are the kind of things I like to hear about. :thumbs2: 
     
  6. Dropshot

    Dropshot Transform your destiny

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    Posts:
    2,750
    News Credits:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +4
    Wow, what an amazing experience, so heart-warming. It has to be one of the most satisfying experiences for you. I'm really glad to know that your hobby can help your son and relate to him.
     
  7. Ezilla82

    Ezilla82 Expect the Unexpected.

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Posts:
    10,548
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Likes:
    +44
    Whoa, cool. Thats awesome that this story is very touching and that you and your son have something in common, and thats cool. Despite your son's condition at least you found a way to connect with him, so kudos to you.
     
  8. Spekkio

    Spekkio Master of War

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    Posts:
    2,332
    Trophy Points:
    207
    Likes:
    +3
    Math was but an example. The connection method could work with just about anything. And it's good to know that he's good with math, because I can't do it at all. I can't read an analog clock and I have trouble doing simple addition and subtraction in my head.

    I've got OCD too, so I know how that is. It could be worse (I'm not Adrian Monk) but I do wash my hands a lot. And everything has to be in pairs....
     
  9. Omegatron

    Omegatron Mandatory Fun. Buy it now TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Posts:
    8,092
    News Credits:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Likes:
    +11
    Ebay:
    "The power of Prime compels you!"

    Seriously, that's a great story. It's as awesome as Mr. T bringing that kid out of a coma. I wish you tons of love and patience as you raise him- I've worked with autistic kids before, and I know they can be a handful.
     
  10. Backscatter

    Backscatter Autobot Brainmaster TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Posts:
    6,774
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    241
    Likes:
    +3
    That's a great story. Good to read. Thanks.
     
  11. jon3pnt0

    jon3pnt0 EpicVoiceGuy

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Posts:
    1,216
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Likes:
    +10
    Funny story actually, we came home one day and I noticed 24 water bottles lined up in our front window... perfect row. And I asked my wife, "Honey, did you put up the water?" She replied that she didn't know where they were and thought I'd forgotten to bring them in. Little did we know Zechary had lined them up in the window in a perfect row.

    But to reply to everyone else, yeah, it's awesome having something in common with your children, but for a shared interest to actually be a way to help a disabled child to communicate and help control himself? Words can't describe. I'd much rather be in a thread like this one that the firestorms that usually show up round here.

    When I put Transformers "The Ultimate Doom" DVD, a Christmas gift from my wife, on for the very first time, he was three (two years ago) and had very little therapy yet, little or no communication and completely uncontrolable... no medication, no nothing... couldn't sit still for thirty seconds without bouncing around the room or yelling and screaming. He sat in my lap indian-style on the floor with me and we watched the whole thing straight through, nearly an hour and he didn't move, scream, bounce, nothing... just watched.

    Afterward, I did my Optimus Prime impression (if you care you can find it on YouTube under jon3pnt0) for him for the very first time, and he managed to say the word "Optimus." He didn't say it REALLY clearly, but it WAS clear that it was what he said. He hadn't even said "I love you" or "Daddy," just "Da." He had mayb 20 words or syllables he could communicate really clearly (had a lot of ear trouble as an infant/toddler), so it was awesome enough to hear him say ANYTHING, let alone a NEW word and OPTIMUS at that!!! I actually cried; my wife did too. It was just that SOMETHING had reached him... one more piece of the puzzle.

    I let him watch PARTS of the new movie, nothing with bad language because he's GREAT at repeating things now.

    My daughter just wants my attention and doesn't really understand what's wrong with her brother, so she likes TF's cuz I do and her favorite character is Shockwave cuz MINE is and her favorite color is purple too cuz MINE is; so I'm happy she likes TF's and has a couple, but it's just more special with boys (especially when it helps with his disability in ways that I couldn't help him before).

    All I can say is having kids is awesome, and even with his disability, I couldn't live without Zech... who else would watch Transformer cartoons with me?

    P.S. I made my wife into a fan too because TF's helped with Zech so much!!! :drool:  I get her all kinds of cute shirts from Hot Topic!!! :lol 
     
  12. jon3pnt0

    jon3pnt0 EpicVoiceGuy

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Posts:
    1,216
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Likes:
    +10
    I'm not all evil... just mostly. :lol 
     
  13. Rumble02

    Rumble02 Radicon of Obliticons

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Posts:
    10,204
    Trophy Points:
    267
    Likes:
    +25
    Ok That Is Unique. And A Good Kind Of Unique
     
  14. transfan_seek

    transfan_seek Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Posts:
    116
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Likes:
    +0
    my brother has autism and tv/commercials especialy (the ones with a catchy tune) have always helped with communication theres was in fact a target commercial that helped him
    maybe something like a series could help him also he is 12 and speaks but very little
    he can get his point across but only roughly
    he used to have these problems of biting kicking etc but they have been gone for a good while
    i may try introducing him to tf it just never occured to me to try something that I love so much
    so thank you for shareing
     
  15. TF rocks

    TF rocks Try and stop me!

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Posts:
    874
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Likes:
    +0
    I also have Autism (Asperger's syndrome to be exact) and my mind works in a similar way, but not exactly. Transformers is like a calming mechanism for me after a hard day or something like that.

    I am glad that your son has found something to help him cope. Especially since it is Prime!:D  I hope that he continues to make progress and that TF can help him out in the future, because I know it did for me.:wink: 
     
  16. Lock Cade

    Lock Cade Tarn Fangirl TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Posts:
    26,859
    Trophy Points:
    352
    Location:
    Michigan
    Likes:
    +96

    I have Asperger's Syndrome, which is a milder condition on the same spectrum as Autism... but my case is mild compared to others that I've known to have Asperger's. So... nice to know how Transformers can keep autistic kids occupied.
     
  17. jon3pnt0

    jon3pnt0 EpicVoiceGuy

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Posts:
    1,216
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Likes:
    +10
    Wow, there's a lot here with Asperger's syndrome! I wonder if anyone ever realized the link with Transformers and disabilities before? I personally think because of sensory development, Autism and other disorders appeals to Transformers because these kinds of kids (and big kids too) love figuring out how things work and Transformers toys (especially) kind of give you that sense of figuring out how to change something from one form to another and accomplishing that gives a sense of satisfaction. My son transformed Bumblebee back and forth for over an hour straight when I first gave it to him.
     
  18. Alienbot

    Alienbot Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Posts:
    2,063
    News Credits:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +21
    Wow, that's moving. I have Asperger's so I can understand.
     
  19. Team Jetfire

    Team Jetfire Pop-POP!

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Posts:
    5,889
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +13
    Great story. It is certainly not an easy situation that you are in, but glad that you are able to make the best of it.
     
  20. Transfan2

    Transfan2 TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Posts:
    14,510
    News Credits:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    322
    Likes:
    +123
    I am a transformers collector with High-Functioning Autism in a sense the Japanese Music (including TFs) do help me out in feeling at peace and such with my mind.

    Nice story there and it is interesting to see other fans that have my mental disorder (though I know, I can live with it somehow).

    -TF2
     

Share This Page