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Monday, April 17, 2017
Music Mantra Monday: Dumbo - A Beautiful Movie For Special Needs Kids
A few years ago, I posted this video after watching Dumbo with my oldest for the first time. She had just started the first steps in her Early Intervention therapy (a couple of years before her SPD therapy).
Like most kids do, and I believe it's mostly to torture their parents, she watched the video over and over. The scene above was one of her favorites, the next in line being when Dumbo learns to fly.
Upon viewing #586,000, give or take a few, I asked her, "I know you seem to really like this one, but wouldn't you like to watch something else?"
"Nope," she replied, her eyes glued to the screen.
"Can you tell Mama why you like it so much?"
Understanding that she needed a lot more prompting back then to get information out, I added, "Well, go ahead and share with Mama. I really want to know because I really like it too. I like his smile and how nice he is to everyone."
Again, without allowing her eyes to leave the screen, she said, "I like his ears and his Mama and the mouse."
"Me too. What do you like about them?"
I gave up prompting because if you questioned her too much, she'd just shut down.
So I waited for her to respond. Then, when this scene came on, she whispered, "His ears make him sad. His Mama makes his sad stop. His Mama likes his ears. The mouse likes his ears." Then she shoved her head into my side, which was how she tolerated hugs.
I'll never forget that. Basically, she was saying that his ears made him different and he was made fun of that. The other animals didn't try to understand him, they just laughed at him and shunned him. All except the mouse and his Mama, who both loved him just the way he was.
My daughter was often made fun of and shunned for her reactions and her severe sensory sensitivities. But she had her Mama to make her sad stop, and her 'mouse' was her sister who always stood up for her.
Dumbo taught my daughter to feel better about being 'different'.
I wonder how Walt Disney would feel knowing that some of his movies had this impact. I'd be the first to thank him.