Saturday, October 9, 2010

Baby Bumblebee

A couple of months ago, I ordered the Baby Bumblebee DVDs from the states. I first learned about them through a forum for parents of children on the spectrum that I sometimes visit. They were highly spoken of, and highly recommended. I paid nearly AU$200 for them (including shipping).

They are basically vocabulary building tools, roughly set out as a set of moving 'flashcards' with a voice over speaking the word, all set to Mozart music.

My son never seems to show much interest in things the first time they are introduced. This time was no different. The first few times that I put the first DVD on, and he simply went about doing his own thing and paid it no attention whatsoever. At least, it would seem that way to most other eyes. I know better now. This is the way he processes new information. It looks like he isn't interested, but really, he is taking it all in.

One day when I played the DVD again, he came over to the TV as the introductory theme music began. He watched a while, then went off again. Gradually, he began to watch the DVD more closely, until now, he sits through the whole thing.

Is he speaking yet? No. Still not a word. But I can't say there have been no benefits............

At times when I name an object or repeat a word from the DVD, he looks at me and smiles. It's as if he's saying "Yeah mum... I know that one". I love it! I have also found him from time to time trying to say 'shoes' or at least make the 'sh' sound again. He was trying that for a while, but then stopped. Now he's at it again. He seems to grasp what I say to him a little easier now. For example: "Bubba, do you want to put your shoes on and go outside to play?", and he immediately responds by looking at me and then coming over!

Still speaking of shoes, I have bought new ones for him, which are very different to the ones he has been wearing. Based on past experience and knowing what my boy is like, I fully expected him to reject these new shoes, and believed I would have a 'fight' on my hands trying to get him to wear them. In his mind, they may be shoes, but they are not the right ones. Well, I was pleasantly suprised to find him fully compliant when I put them on him! Amazing!! And I have not had a problem with them once. This too, I believe, has come about because of Baby Bumblebee. You see, they always show several versions of the item they are presenting - in the case of our shoes, they show baby shoes, mens shoes, womens' shoes, running shoes, buckle up shoes, lace up shoes, different coloured shoes, slip ons, etc. All different kinds of shoes, but they are all shoes. I'm pretty certain this has helped my boy develop some flexible thinking in this area.

To be honest, I didn't really expect to see any speech from him so quickly as a result of these DVDs, even though other parents have seen amazing results. I just know my son. But the benefits in general can't be denied despite that.

Would I recommend these for other kids on the spectrum? Definately.


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