Jess over at Diary of a Mom has written many pieces about her daughter, Brooke, and how she communicates through scripts from videos. When I read Jess’ words I feel that Dora, Steve from Blues Clue, or the characters from Godspell are a part of their family. She wrote a post in Jauary titled A Playground of Words. In the post, she shares, “Brooke skips through fields of words and frolics in their sounds. She rolls from one to the next”. And when I read those words I saw my Dawson in her Brooke.
Then in early March, the New York Times ran a story called Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney. Once again, I saw my Dawson in Ron Suskind’s son, Owen. So I share with you the characters that are part of our family. Dawson’s Magical Kingdom — our Magical Kindgom — where all are welcome. Admission is by repeating lines from a video or knowing your part of the script. I promise it is the best deal in town and an experience you won’t soon forget.
Filled with a rhythm.
One that is uniquely his.
Filled with lines.
From his friends.
Dora and Boots.
Jeff, Anthony, Dorothy the Dinosaur, and Wags the Dogs.
Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy, and Goofy.
They have taught him.
To wrap himself in their words.
To know there is comfort.
With these special characters.
And Dora, Mickey, Minnie, Wags the Dog, and Barney have given to me too.
They have let me borrow.
They have shared.
Dora has given me “the map.”
And Barney gave me his “I love you” song.
And Mickey, well he gave me the “Mystery Mousekatool.”
And the Wiggles.
What haven’t the Wiggles given me?
But all of them.
Have opened a door to be in a place with my son.
One that is ours.
One that it is safe.
Full of love.
Like the Magic Kingdom, all are welcome.
Admission is learning some lines from Mickey or Minnie.
There is no extra charge for repeating the lines.
In fact, I can guarantee that you will get a bonus smile and giggle for every word you repeat.
This place of love, acceptance, and contagious laughter is found next to him.
On a couch.
Or at the dinner table.
Or in the car.
The only requirement.
And he will unlock the door and show you how he sees the Magical Kingdom.
This place we call home.
A place we call school.
The grocery store.
Or the mall.
Through his lens.
A place we all share.
And with his companions, he shows me.
My Dawson has taught me to trust in Barney and Dora.
To depend on Baby Einstein and Mickey Mouse.
Because these characters.
These very special friends.
They have his back when anxiety comes knocking on the door.
They provide a chuckle or a giggle when all is quiet in a room.
And when my sweet boy grabs Annie, Leo, June, and Quincey from Little Einstein.
When he bends over them and hugs them.
When he jumps in the air and waves them above his head.
And when he plops next to me on a hot June day wearing his Christmas pajamas in the middle of the afternoon and says, “It is Annie.”
When he leans into me.
His face moving close to mine.
Taking my hands and placing them on my knees.
His voice soaring with, “Annie is patting, Quincey is patting, June is patting.”
Demanding, “Mommy, you pat!”
And with Annie, Quincey, June, and Leo.
We move our hands together.
Finding our rhythm.
In a world that belongs to all of us.
We are there.
Where the Magic is always alive.
And the giggles are contagious.
Copyright Cheairs Graves March 18, 2014
Below is a video. Well, it is kinda of a video. You can’t see Dawson but you can hear his sweet giggles and his laughter. Can you guess what video or characters we are talking about?