Sunday, February 3, 2013

Bang Your Head

Pervasive Parenting
By Kodey Toney
Bang Your Head
Jen and I have fallen in love with the hit show Big Bang Theory. The show is funny and well written, but one of the main reasons we adore it so much is because some things hit a little close to home. When it was suggested that we start watching this show, after the first five minutes I looked at Jen and said, “We’re raising a Sheldon.” Now, I understand that some may find this as a strange comment, but I think it’s a great thing.
For those who don’t know; Sheldon Cooper is a loveable, yet annoying, scientist who is demanding and stubborn. Ok, so Konner isn’t really any of these yet, but some of Sheldon’s characteristics are similar.
In a recent interview with Jim Parsons, the actor who plays Sheldon, he said that the creators of the show have told him the character does not have autism or Asperger’s. The creators themselves have also confirmed that they were just writing the character to have his own personality.
Let’s take a look at some of the traits that Sheldon has in common, or at least I think so, with Konner. These are also behaviors that stand out in people on the spectrum.
Sheldon, as many know, has an above average IQ and is a brilliant scientist. Ok, Konner hasn’t made any discovery of string theory recently, but he did have, as the doctor said, “A genius IQ.” I hope that he uses this to become a gifted scientist someday. If not, maybe he can use his autism super powers for some sort of good. After all, Konner is very good at math.
Sheldon has obsessive or repetitive routines and rituals. One such quirk is that he has “his” seat. This is a specific spot on the couch that is his. He also has certain weekly schedules and menus. Konner does not have this “spot” in our house. In fact he doesn’t really care where he sits. Most of the time he just paces or walks around. He does have routines though that he goes through. Like Sheldon, there are certain things that he has to do, like taking a bath before bed. Anytime his daily routine is broken it make for a bad time for awhile. He also has to eat the same thing, or type of thing, for lunch. He has to have Lunchables everyday at school.
Sheldon is socially awkward and has trouble communicating with others. There is usually a lack of sarcasm. I always say that this is a bit of an irony with Konner since I have sarcasm dripping from every word I say. Konner doesn’t understand my jokes most of the time. This is not to say that he’s not funny. He’s actually very funny in his own right; he just doesn’t use sarcasm.
Dr. Cooper also has sensitivity to sensory information, such as light, sound, texture, and taste. Konner has all of these. Texture and sound are his two major issues. He has trouble when there are loud sounds or too much going on in the room. Like most people on the spectrum Konner has an issue with clothes. Just the other day Konner was squirming around and saying that he hurt all over. He was wearing something new that he had received for Christmas. All the way home from wherever we had gone he was complaining that his body hurt. As soon as we got home he ran in the house and said, “Can I take my clothes off my body hurts?” The new clothes and whatever they were made of were bothering him so much it hurt.
In addition (Jen reminded me of this) Konner doesn’t like for anyone to help him with things. There was an episode where Sheldon is in an academic competition, but doesn’t want anyone else to answer questions. This is much like Konner.
I enjoy this show very much, and I admire the character of Sheldon. I think that he has shown the world that it’s okay to be different. Embrace what makes you who you are, and don’t change that for anyone. I hope that my son does grow up to be like Sheldon. If nothing else it is an entertaining ride. Bazinga!

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