Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rewind Button

This is Little Guy's favorite position while watching TV.

I try not to let him watch too much at a time - just a few short intervals spread throughout the day. However, this has been a little more difficult as we've been spending more time indoors due to the increasing heat of summer. But something strange happened a few nights ago, making me wonder if I need to be even more careful with Little Guy's TV viewing.

I had put Little Guy down for bed a little early, as he had not had a nap that day. He seemed tired, but a half hour later he was still talking to himself. This turned into wall kicking, so I decided I'd better peek in and see what the trouble was. I repositioned Little Guy in his crib, handed him his bear, and tucked his blanket around him. This failed to do the trick; he continued to noisily stay awake. An hour after I'd initially put Little Guy to bed, I decided that a little intervention was needed to help him calm down. I carried him to his rocking chair and prepared to sing to him, but he interrupted me in a loud, excited voice by reciting three sentences, ending with a strange facial expression. I was trying to figure out what he was telling me when he repeated the sentences verbatim, complete with tone and facial expression. THIS HAPPENED FOR TEN STRAIGHT MINUTES while I was holding him, and had probably been happening before I entered his bedroom. I tried to engage him by asking questions, but nothing seemed to register.

I have to admit, I was a little scared by this development. I finally started singing over the talking, and Little Guy eventually began to repeat this bizarre behavior less and less. I'm not sure when it hit me, but at some point I realized that he was giving me a play by play of a video segment he'd seen earlier that day. Little Guy has mild echolalia, but this was different; he wasn't repeating the audio aspects of the video. Rather, he was describing the visual aspects of a certain scene. It was like someone hitting the rewind button to watch a particular part of a movie over and over again.

I haven't let him watch that show again for fear of that behavior resurfacing; he's watched some other programs and seemed to be fine. I haven't had a chance to speak with his therapists about this development yet. I'm very interested to hear what they think.

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