Disney Channel Helping my Preteen with Social Skills
Disney Channel Programing for Kids on the Autism Spectrum
I’m always keeping up with what my girl watches on T.V. and the internet. Now in her preteen stage, her preferences are changing to a more mature content putting me on a higher alert as to what I allow her to watch. Let me tell you what I appreciate most about Disney’s content for my socially challenged ADS daughter and why I feel it’s perfect for all kids but especially our ASD ones trying to find their unique place in the world while making friends.
Social cues and socially “fitting in” can be tough for some but is probably one of THE hardest areas for “higher” functioning kids on the spectrum. They can mimic just enough to look like they get it but struggle with making friends and keeping them. On my quest for quality content for my girl to watch, I look for content she can “model”, to learn idioms and even the simplest of age appropriate jokes. I am big on sarcasm which also help her pay attention to a persons tone, facial expressions and reactions. We have come a very long way with these techniques and I am happy with her progress without the help of a stand alone social skills class.
With Disney programing having such a huge variety it gives me a chance to discuss real life situations while spending time with my girl. Don’t get me wrong, we love watching fantasy movies especially anything Disney but theres nothing like chilling out on the weekends binging on shows like Jesse, Stuck in the Middle and Bunk’d. We recently added a few more awesome shows to our rotation and If you haven’t checked out the newest shows Disney Channel is offering I would recommend any from the lists below. All featuring a talented mix of characters within a variety of family units, I’m sure your preteens will relate to all of them on some level.
Andi Mack: One of my girls favorites! Created and executive produced by acclaimed writer Terri Minsky ("Lizzie McGuire"), "Andi Mack" is a contemporary coming-of-age story about a relatable girl who's trying to determine where she fits in and the many amazing ways she can live her life. On the eve of her 13th birthday, Andi learns that her older sister, Bex, is actually her mother. This revelation puts Andi on an unfamiliar path of self-discovery which she navigates with the help of her loving albeit complicated family; her two best friends, Cyrus and Buffy; and her middle school crush, Jonah Beck. Along the way, Andi learns that sometimes the unexpected is what makes life great. Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT
Coop and Cami Ask the World : The live-action family comedy follows Cooper (Coop) and Cameron (Cami) Wrather, two middle school siblings who co-host Coop's online show "Would You Wrather." With the help of their little brother Ollie and Coop's best friend Fred, the duo fields offbeat questions and results to the show's millions of followers (aka Wratherheads) who help them solve problems both mundane and madcap. Every day is an adventure in the Wrather's hectic household, which also includes their older sister Charlotte and mom Jenna, as Coop and Cami tackle adolescence and everyday family situations with humor and heart. Friday, October 12 (8:30 p.m. EDT) on Disney Channel, in the DisneyNOW app and on Disney Channel VOD (12:01 a.m. local)
Raven's Home My daughter LOVES this show! She has the shows’ time and date set in her head and always reminds me! What I love about the show is that it teaches the virtues of honestly, acceptance, standing up for what's right, self love, counteracting bullying, balancing social media, while modeling age appropriate style. In it’s second season Raven's Home stars Raven-Symoné, reprising her role as Raven Baxter from the iconic comedy That's So Raven (2003-07), Issac Ryan Brown as Booker Baxter-Carter; Navia Robinson as Nia Baxter-Carter; Jason Maybaum as Levi Grayson; Sky Katz as Tess and, reprising her That's So Raven role, Anneliese van der Pol as Chelsea Daniels. Catch it Fridays (8:00 -8:30 p.m. EDT/PDT) on Disney Channel, in the DisneyNOW app and on Disney Channel VOD (12:01 a.m. local).
Music has also been a huge game changer on our social skills journey, giving my girl another outlet to shine in and a mutual interest that is shared by many. The crossover between the Disney Channel shows and the music videos that they are creating is brilliant and engaging! This latest one “Legendary” stars 17 dynamic young actresses from Disney Channel’s hit series and movies. The Legendary music video was directed by Hannah Lux Davis (director of Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus and Fifth Harmony music videos). The song was written and produced by The Heavyweights; the GRAMMY®-nominated production team composed of Jamie Jones, Jack Kugell and Matt Wong; along with songwriter Hanna Jones packing a huge and relatable message to our kids!
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My hope is that my daughter can seek out people with the character traits portrayed within these show. Qualities like trustworthiness, compassion and the ability to compromise are huge boxes I looked to be checked as a mom to a child with autism. She doesn’t need a huge circle of friends, just a few quality ones and that is all I can wish for as she becomes her own person and approaches her teens.