He gets his sense of humor from SpongeBob

A Special Ed teacher once remarked to me that "Autistic kids don't have a sense of humor."
I won't get into the ignorance of such a closed and final statement. I know she's wrong. I think every human being has a sense of humor; just what stimulates the sense and how much, is what varies widely from person to person, and mood to mood, and day to day. I believe a sense of humor is developed, like a muscle. I don't think it is there or not there like a missing chromosome.

Unfortunately, I think my son learned most of his sense of humor from Spongebob (and some from his prankster, facetious father; and and maybe a little from his sick psychiatrist!)
His older brother discovered Spongebob while visiting his great-grandmother's house. This is the same great-grandmother who was also the first to introduce my children to handheld video games by buying them each a GameBoy. "In my day", she introduced my brother and I to things my mother didn't generally allow; like comic books, Poptarts, bubble gum, marshmellow fluff, -- soap operas.
My grandmother has since passed away; but alas Spongebob has not.

In the beginning, when we first discovered Spongebob, I thought that the boy had developed an acute paranoia. He would sit directly in front of the TV and glance first over one shoulder and then over the other. His head was swiveling so much that it became a distraction to his older brother, who would then periodically shout, "STOP LOOKING AT ME!"
So being the astute mother that I am, I asked the boy why he was afraid of his brother. He had no answer for such a ridiculous question.
It took me a few weeks (okay maybe months) to realize that he was glancing at his siblings in order to register and gauge their responses to the Spongebob episode they were watching. After months of watching Spongebob (not continuously) and watching his siblings watch Spongebob, Monkeyboy finally started to laugh at some of the inane humor - inane/insane; six of one/half a dozen of the other. He had begun to actively and consciously discern what was laugh-out-loud funny, what was giggle-worthy, and what was just bridging one part to the next.

I told you he's brilliant. Now if I could just get him to give back my spatula...

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  1. Anonymous23/7/08

    My son also gleaned his sense of humor from Spongebob. We were at a wedding reception for our standard 15 minutes of face time before he gets overstimulated). An older woman came up to him, plunged her long-nailed fingers into his curly locks and asked, "Where did you get such lovely hair?" Without skipping a beat, he echoed a line from his favorite episode and answered: "I got it on the Internet". The woman shrugged confusedly while my son and I giggled our heads off.

  2. I loathed Spongebob when I first saw it, but mind love it. They learned to swear a la Spongebob = Barnacles / fishpaste!

    Works for me. No sense of humour indeed, what do these people know anyway!

  3. Anonymous28/7/08

    SpongeBob. Ubiquitous little yellow washing instrument. *sigh* Our boys react in cartoon ways all the time...they didn't only copy the humor but the language. Cute perhaps at 3; at 10 and nearly 13, not so much.
    Although Little Miss is a huge fan of physical comedy--so cartoons really suit her. As a full fledged autist, I've got to say she's got a hell of a sense of humor. What do those guys know???

  4. Wow, your blog is really entertaining and full of little gems. The Spongebob post is a great example of an observation that would generally be missed by practitioners who aren't in the house all the time. Brilliant!

  5. Thanks so much! That's an encouragement to this novice blogger and still-in-training mom.


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