EMP Museum in Seattle.
(By Go Card USA from Boston, USA (Seattle Center - Space Needle - EMP - SciFi Museum) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
The perfect museum for downtown Seattle. We're talking pop culture mania. I didn't get to spend much time enjoying every nook and cranny because I was assigned six kids to watch (including my son). But then we headed to the fantasy exhibit. I got to see Xena's outfit, the lion's costume from the original Wizard of Oz, along with costumes from The Princess Bride and a slew of other sci-fi and fantasy movies and TV shows. Also on display were hand written pages from the early stages of Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. The kids loved the mechanical dragon the most, especially Will.
I realized Will lives most of his life in a fantasy realm, part video games, part movies, part his immediate family. One of the facets of his autism happens to be echolalia, mimicking. I waited a long time for his first word, then even longer for his first genuine word spurred by his own motivation to speak. I remember it clearly. I was tucking him in bed. He was four and a half and I walked through whatever routine we had at the time. That night I sneezed and for the first time he said, "Bless you, Mom." I have to tell you with a hard of hearing husband (divorced now) and a son with autism no one had said bless you to me in years and then to be called mom, I bawled my eyes out.
Will goes back and forth between lines from his fantasy world and his real feelings. Think of Bumblebee from Transformers. His voice-box/translator/something is busted so he uses lines from songs to communicate. Will does that, but he uses dialogue he's memorized. I thought about how much I love his optimism because there is nothing more optimistic than believing good triumphs over evil, that superheroes exist, that he can be a superhero. I don't want to take that away from him, but I also want him to live here in the present. I had an idea. I have this juvenile fiction story I created that's on hold. I thought why not write it with my boys. Will can help me create a story so he can see fiction as it's being made. Maybe I can help him understand the difference between pretend and real. Maybe all that will happen is a new addition to the library of go-to lines, but you always have keep trying stuff.
I'm not sure how to start. I have the names. I have a premise. A rough sketch in my mind of the alternate world I want to create. How do I bring the boys into it so they own part of the story? I have to figure out that part. I also have to make it a part of our weekly routine. Maybe have a big sheet of paper taped to the wall where they can spout ideas and I can jot them down immediately. Hmm. Any ideas? Suggestions?
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