Autism · Disney

Disney Is Helping My Son’s Imagination Grow

When I was a young kid, I loved Disney movies so much. I can remember playing princess with my sisters, or repeating every line from my favorite movie, Lady and the Tramp. I knew than that when I had kids I would introduce them to all the amazing Disney movies of the past and the new ones now. But, little did I know than just how much Disney would help my son. The movies and shows are helping him to play and use his imagination. They were a comfort to him when he couldn’t speak. We would turn on Toy Story and he would instantly relax and start laughing. And now, they are helping him to find his voice. To talk more and pretend more everyday. Disney is truly magical in every way. I see that as I watch my son now.

Up to a few months ago, Billy was considered non-verbal. He didn’t speak at all and was learning sign language and using a system called PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) to communicate his wants and needs to us. One thing Billy has always loved is Disney movies and the channel, Disney Jr. The first movie he ever loved was Toy Story, he would watch all 3 over and over all day long. This year he started to branch out to other movies, Planes and Cars are now two movies that are in rotation, along with any Mickey Mouse Clubhouse shows and the new Mickey Cartoon shorts.

As he watched the movies, he would always sit and play with his toys that go with that movie. Than, slowly, he began to play with certain toys whether the movie was on or not. Like all his Cars vehicles and all the Planes ones too. Once Billy started saying some words, Daddy being one of the first ones he said, we noticed he would sit and watch a Disney movie and really seem to be studying it almost. Than as I was busy with my daughter one day, I heard it. He had started to repeat lines from the Cars movie. Not just one or two words, but a full line, than another and another. Now, up to this point, he was maybe saying 5-10 words. But, it was like magic, true Disney magic. He was saying more.

It started out with repeating sentences from the movies, than we slowly would see him, as he played with his Planes, Cars, Toy Story characters or Mickey Mouse, we would hear him acting out scenes he had watched. More recently, we have noticed he is making up his own words and using his imagination when playing. He will be sitting on the floor playing with all his Planes and we will hear him telling Dusty Crophopper to “Come on Dusty, Lets Go!” It is amazing to see. I could sit for hours and watch him play and imagine like he does.

We will continue to watch Disney movies and Disney Jr. in our home and I plan to add some Disney into my son’s homeschooling next year as I begin preschool with him! Seeing how much Disney motivates him now, I want to continue using it with him. I can’t wait to share some fun ideas of using Disney in his lessons with all of you.

And to Disney, THANK YOU! We may be only a small family in all the millions of people who love Disney, but to me, you are a huge part in my son’s life!

 

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