Thursday, May 28, 2009

Autism Interventions: JEOPARDY!®

It may not be as glamorous as dragging your autistic child to Mongolia to ride horses, or to swim with dolphins and other large, powerful and dangerous sea animals but it is inexpensive, safe and ... effective. Conor goes to bed at Eight Zero Zero (8pm) every night. He would sit and watch the clock move toward 8 every evening. We encouraged him to watch the clock on the TV Guide channel for awhile but the same commercials (Your Huggable Car Dealer, Jim Gilbert Wheels n Deals) play over and over and provide little variety for Conor.

Lately we discovered something new (but old) for Conor as he waits for Eight Zero Zero - JEOPARDY!® . And it has been a blessing. On our local networks JEOPARDY!® is available from 7:30 to 8:00 pm and Conor loves it. Conor knows that Alex Trebek is the host and he sits quietly, and attentively, watching the show with its catchy musical themes, large letters and numbers and colorful but not annoying stage set. I don't know what, or how much, Conor learns from watching Jeopardy but it can only be positive. The level of language used in the show is excellent with an incredibly wide ranging vocabulary and nuggets of information. And there is no need to worry about inappropriate images or language.

Horses in Mongolia, swimming with dolphins, Lupron? Not a chance. ABA for sure. Trail walks and local family swims too. And with a little bit of JEOPARDY!® on the side. If nothing else Conor obviously enjoys watching the show. It's safe, inexpensive, he watches it calmly with Dad, and we both look forward to Seven Three Zero.




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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love it! Justin is a Jeopardy fan as well. He hums the theme all the time.
It is great family time for us with him engaged.
Dawn

Anonymous said...

Fran├žois loves Jeopardy as well. He aslo loves Wheel of Fortune that plays before, he names all the letters.

It's part of his bedtime routine, after the show is over we prepare for bed.

Stephanie Lynn Keil said...

Awesomeness! It's really hard to find something more educational on TV that autistic people can watch. Discovery, History Channel and etc. don't capture my attention as much as Jeopardy. I think it has to do with the colors, bright lights and the fact that all of the information is in a trivia format rather than in long monologues, as in the Discovery Channel and the History Channel and etc.

There's this show on the Discovery Channel, I think (or maybe the Science Channel), called "How it's Made." I love this show. It's basically what you think it is: shows how stuff is made. Autistic people would like it, I think, because it mostly consists of mechanical things. It shows how cars are made, Plexiglas windows, how diamonds are cut, how fortune cookies are made and etc; pretty much anything you can think of. A good "autistic" show, I think, and educational as well.

Claire said...

I really identify with the issues of inappropriate images and the "not annoying" stage set...the other thing is that so many shows have fallen into the music video, high speed, flashing images thing...very bad for seizure disorders and hyper sensitive kids. Sounds like a nice family time!

Fielding J. Hurst said...

My daughter (8) has always loved watching Jeopardy. I have no idea why, but for years this has been the case.

It must be something with the set. The Game Show Network sometimes shows very old episodes and she could not care less about the old ones.

Weird.

Fielding J. Hurst said...

You should invite some more kids with A over to watch it and charge. Jeopardy Intervention Therapy (J.I.T.)

farmwifetwo said...

My boys are "how it's made" and "wheel of fortune" fans. A couple of nights ago "Password" was on. We have never watched it before, my little one sat with his Dad just as quiet as could be... all eyes.. watching it.

I'd love to know exactly how much he understood.

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

Sounds like a great plan to me! Nigel is also time-aware and is constantly looking at his watch. Recently he commented that all of the clocks in the house were "out of order" but his watch was the "right time"!