Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 14, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 17, diagnosed with Autism/Asperger's/ADHD. It's the ups, the downs, the joys, the sorrows and most importantly, the beauty of living a life less perfect, a life more meaningful.




Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Middle School Mind of Gadgetry, Gore, Girls and YouTube

Since Weston transferred to the middle school, his interests have started to change. The blinding obsessions he once had for things like construction vehicles and matchbox cars have miraculously disappeared. The stacks of Hard Hat Harry Construction videos sit discarded and dusty on shelves in our living room. Red Bruder dump trucks and black plastic Hummers lay unused and abandoned in the now defunct toy box.

Even his language has started to change as he no longer uses expressions like,

"Oh Barnacles!" or "I'm ready, I'm ready!" Interjections he learned from his favorite Nickelodeon Sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea.

He now says things like,

"Suup?" or "Later"

Yes, Weston's middle school mind is filled with strange new things like gadgetry, gore, pretty girls and YouTube.

In previous days, rarely did Weston leave the house without a matchbox or two clutched tightly inside each of his sweaty hands. In fact, I am sure there is still an entire fleet of miniature minivans jammed under the front seat of our family vehicle.

But these days, Hot Wheels are out, and electronics are in! Ipods, gameboys and cellular phones are the new form of gadgetry that occupies the hands of my maturing young son. With headphones jammed into his ears, his fingers are a blur as they fly nimbly over touch pads and scroll wheels. Born with a sixth sense for gaming controls, Weston can operate a next-generation electronic device with both eyes closed and one hand tied behind his back.

His attention is rarely interrupted from these mini man-made marvels unless of course a high school girl happens to walk past him. And then it's,

"Mom, do you think she's pretty?"

His old collections of Toy Story DVDs? Replaced now with gory episodes of  'The Thing" or "Aliens".

"Mom, don't look he'll say," "It's pretty gross," as he bravely watches an alien burst forth from the belly of an unsuspecting crewman.

Who is this child? I think to myself as I long for the passive days of preschool and play dough.

But nothing occupies the middle school mind more than the magical allure of YouTube. This addictive website is like a preteen version of crack cocaine and can entertain my son for hours as he searches for titles he learned from fellow classmates. He will sit uncharacteristically for hours watching movies, music and funny videos.

Here is the latest middle school YouTube craze:


These days I am learning a lot about what goes on inside the mind of a preteen boy.

I must admit, I still don't understand?