Monday 1 February 2016

Please tell me what happens next.... on Ben and Holly?

There are many strange things that happen when some of your kids have autism. One of the things I've constantly had in my head recently is... does King Thistle get out of the cracker, is the Queen rescued from the north pole and what will happen to the Elves and the Great Elf Tree that have got stuck in the garden centre?

This is not something I thought I'd be pre-occupied with.  These are the three questions raised at the end of part one of a two part opening to Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom Season 7, which focuses on Christmas.  I realise it's now just past the end of January and I'm still wondering what happens in a children's two part show, that apparently I could watch at any time. Except of course I can't, and I'm constantly reminded of these questions, day after day.

You see one of the strange things that happens undoubtedly because we have autism in the family is the obsessive re-watching of tv programmes.  Really I'm lucky beause, I've seen the whole of this Ben and Holly episode.  It's just I've never been able to watch the next one.  It has been worse, David used to like rewatching the Sky Disney movies introduction sequence.  This is about 45 seconds (that is seconds, not minutes) and he used to ask for me to rewind this to watch over and over again. It's a hard thing to do mostly because you can't do anything else when you have to constantly rewind the television.  And sometimes like in David's case here, the action is debilitating.  David struggled to pull himself away, transfixed and would become extremely upset if he couldn't watch it.

Every child learns by repetition, so why is this different? Here are some ideas:

People with autism often like samesness - there are no surprises, in fact mykids positively get joy out of knowing whats about to happen, it's safe and comfortable and fun for them

People with autism like routine - watching the same show everyday means there is no chance of anything going wrong and they know what's going to happen

People with autism can find it difficult to know what to focus on, so try and take it all in- David in particular seems to try and take in everything on the screen in absolute detail. David is less likely to know what's going on in the story and more likely to know what everyone was wearing in ever scene. 

Sensory stimulus - Parts of shows can be very visual and this can be very comforting or stimulating for some people with autism. That's why David really liked the Disney introduction, it has music and like most adverts is very visually inspiring to draw watchers in. 

As I say, learning through repetition is something children do. Jane likes to re-watch her favourite shows as much as the next kid, but for the boys it's a bit different.  All in all, I don't mind watching the same things, as long as they aren't debilitating for the boys.   As long as they can stop watching when they need to, like when it's time to leave the house, go to bed or even they need to go to the toilet.  We just need to help them enjoy the television whilst still being able to function.  And that's fine. It might just be nice to know what happened to King Thistle... and the Queen.... and the Elf Tree.  If you've seen the episode let me know?  I'd even be open to a potential ending! 


  1. I can't help you with Ben & Holly but I definitely get the repetition thing. My son likes watching his fave programmes on repeat and I once watched Star Wars 15 times in one week so I get it lol. Hope you find out what happens. ;) X #SpectrumSunday

  2. I had to laugh out loud at the Disney thing as I know this rewinding so well. We have given up trying to watch the TV in the day because if something grabs our sons attention he will rewind that sky box for hours! He has even found a button that jumps the channel back an hour. I have no idea how he does this and he can do it without us noticing. Clearly this is something we need to work on in our house ;0) #spectrumsunday

  3. Sorry but we were never Ben & Holly fans here... Peppa, Dora, Mighty Mites, Ooglies, countless others I am an expert on - all ours had rewinding too. Now it's just YouTube clips - lots of Stampy, DTM and Cookie Swirl C, all repeated endlessly, oh joy ;)

  4. Totally get this post! I've been stuck on Special Agent Oso and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for 7 years. Whenever a new episode is released it brightens up my world as it means there's a different 20 minutes I get to mix it up a bit Thanks for sharing #SpectrumSunday

  5. Minions are the obsession of choice at the moment, I have to watch all three at least once a day. Well to be honest, I just use that time to blog or play with the other boys or clean the house. We go through different stages here, but it is generally the same set of films every day. Ellis has to watch the things he wants when Hayden is at school, because he just won't allow it. Thank you for linking up to #spectrumsunday lovely, hope you join me again this week xx


I read all your comments and appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me and our readers. I welcome any feedback on my posts and you can always contact me directly. Thank you.

Have a look at our most recent posts:

@rainbowsaretoo Ann H on Google + rainbowsaretoo pinterest rainbowsaretoobeautiful bloglovin Instagram rainbowsaretoobeautiful