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<p>My son uses tv to calm down during/after meltdowns and as a distraction..it also helps me get things done around the house. I also have a 2 month old.</p>
<p>But I know that screens are bad for any kid, but especially for autistic kids. I want to turn it off cold turkey on Monday. We're thinking of putting the tv in the closet so he won't be able to see it...</p>
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<p>So what can I do with him to distract from the fact that there's no tv? What can I use to distract him when he's melty?</p>
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<p>Or is this all a massively bad idea...</p>
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<p>TV isn't necessarily bad for every child. What is typically to the benefit of an average child does not necessarily work for our children.</p>
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<h3 class="r"><a class="l" href="http://autism.about.com/od/inspirationideas/tp/TVOK.htm" target="_blank">Good Reasons for Allowing <em>Autistic</em> Children to watch <em>TV</em> and Videos</a></h3>
 

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<p>Yes, I find that my DS learns stuff visually - he seems to have some issue processing verbal-only information.  I think it can be helpful if used in the right ways.  We use carefully selected DVDs and we have a TV recorder box and we either record off PBS or flag and remove any commercials.  He is limited in how much he's allowed to watch.  And there's nothing recorded on the TV box that he can't see.  If he shouldn't see a program, then I don't want to see it either.  Of course, he probably won't like all those PBS nature programs and skating programs that are recorded for me and DH <span><img alt="lol.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/lol.gif"></span></p>
<p><span>We also have a mini trampoline in view of the TV so he can burn his pent-up energy while watching, which he usually does, so it's a 2-for-1. </span></p>
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<p><span>I'm sure that didn't help you figure out what to do when he melts down, though.  I guess you'll have to establish a new routine for that...and go through the obligatory problems dealing with that change.  Is there any other sensory activity he could do or have available to use during that time?</span>  Also - how much time is he currently spending watching TV?  If its enough, perhaps working down the amount first would help.  Certainly getting the TV out of sight is a good idea if he is not going to be allowed to watch it.</p>
 

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<p>Thanks ladies, after reading your replies and talking to DH we decided that we would put it back out at night (it's light and kinda small so no trouble) and leave it up so he can watch a movies in the morning (his grumpiest time) while we wake up and get breakfast ready/diapers changed/etc. Then when we can distract him one of us will put it up and that'll be it. I think that for melt downs it might help to hold him in my lap..only problem is that I also have a 2 month old, although <em>he</em> is super easy and can probably just be laid down.</p>
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<p>What movies do y'all recommend? He actually loves disney, to my dismay. He loves Cars and Nemo the most. He has learned from Nemo though, he knows the difference between sharks and whales and fish now. He also learns new words from movies. I do not like how they use the word "idiot" though. I hate it. I feel like he would love any nature shows, as he loves animals. Now I'm rambling. I'm a tired mama. :)</p>
 

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<p>It's funny, I was just going to come back and say that after thinking about it some more, I was going to suggest not doing TV during meltdowns, leaving TV at other times to your discretion.  Sounds like that's what you've decided anyway <span><img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif">  I was also going to suggest using music during meltdowns - something calming like classical or jazz perhaps? Or it could be as simple as singing to him.  My DS would never let me sing to him though, so that's out for us.</span></p>
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<p><span>As far as video recommendations...my DS learned from the Leap Frog Talking Letter Factory and Talking Words Factory.  He also loves the Real Wheels series on vehicles.</span>  He also likes his "Diggers and Dozers" video.  Lately though, he's been getting into Thomas the Train (he wasn't interested at all in Thomas until very recently).  He likes the NOVA science stuff we record off PBS...but it's only been recently that he's seen that.  Other stuff on PBS is WordWorld, SuperWhy, Zoboomafoo, Mister Rogers, and of course Sesame Street.  They probably have any of those on DVD if you don't have a recorder box.  We don't pay for TV, so all we get is what comes over the air.  I have no idea what's available on cable or satellite.  Probably way more inappropriate stuff than good stuff.</p>
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<p>I've found that we have to be careful with movies - some for the reason you describe - words I don't want him to use.  Other reasons include scary scenes (and for DS there are a lot of potentially scary things about seemingly normal scenes.  He got the Thomas DVD movie recently as a gift, but he was too scared of the angry train in there, but I don't think it was supposed to scare the kids.  Oh well.  The Thomas TV series is different than the movie, not scary at all.</p>
 

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<p>Movie recommendations really depend on your child's personality and what he enjoys. We've got a lot of use out of the Curious George movies, the Little Bear movie and recorded episodes of Backyardigans, Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, etc. Our DD can't handle scary scenes and so can't watch stuff like Nemo.</p>
 

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<p>My DS (3.5) also loves Disney/Pixar but doesn't yet speak so I don't know how many degrading words he may have picked up from them.  He loves Thomas and Chuggington, but not so much for the stories but for the TRAINS.  We have our computer hooked up to the tv, on Youtube there are a lot of train videos, which led to airplane vids, bulldozer videos, etc.  Other faves include Curious George, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Jungle Junction, Talking Letter Factory, The Wot Wots, Signing Times, Bob the Builder.  As you can see, I do not shy away from TV, and actually got cable because I was tired of arguing with DS about which DVD to watch next.  I will say that of the preschool channels, Sprout is his least favorite which bummed me out because I like the PBS shows, but he just couldn't handle the adult-based commercials, like Montel Williams Cash Now, etc.  Nick Jr. and Disney don't have commercials, or at least not that kind.</p>
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<p>I do feel guilty sometimes about the tv, but it calms DS down and I have evidence that he has learned some things from it.  And as was mentioned in the link above, I think it might help him connect with others, keep him up to date, give him talking points, that kind of thing.  GL!  I hope to cut down someday too.</p>
 
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