"My Favorite Things", autism-style

December 16, 2013
Chelsea Budde

My son with autism is nearly 15 years old.  When things start buzzing around Christmastime, he has a guarded enthusiasm.  He loves to bring out the movies of the season, but isn't so excited about how much changes around the house.  So it was especially beautiful when he stopped on Saturday morning and noticed ornaments on our tree.  He found the ones that had meaning to him, and pushed buttons on those with sound effects.  It was good to see him enjoy things on his terms.

And though I'm not sure why, it made me think of the Rodgers and Hammerstein song "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music.  And I put together this alternate, interpretive version -- a compilation of all things my boy (and a little of my girl thrown in, too).  Some of it just might resonate with your experiences.  So get your tune ready and sing along!  (Yes, I cheated out of a stanza in each series.  You get the idea.)

Julie Andrews sings "My Favorite Things" in Rodgers & Hammerstein's
The Sound of Music (Robert Wise Productions, 1965)
Shirts without long
sleeves or rough tags or stitching
(Put that junk on
me and watch me start itching)
Pants I slide into without buttoning -
These are a few of
my favorite things.
Schedules and
checklists so I know what’s coming
People who don’t
mind my flapping and humming
Toys with lights
flashing but not ones that sing -
These are a few of
my favorite things.
When the dog barks,
when my sis cries, and my ears hurt bad,
I block it all out
with my hands or my voice, and then I don’t feel so sad.
Swimming and
jumping and water slide riding
Getting away from
the noise while I’m hiding
Puppies and kittens
that snuggle and kiss -
These are a few
things that bring me such bliss.
My mom, dad and
teachers and friends, but not strangers
Light sabers, Nerf
guns, and all Power Rangers
Time by myself
without too much talking -
These are a few of
my favorite things
When the plans
change, when I can’t cope, and I’m feeling mad,

I rewind a movie to
my favorite part, and then I don’t feel so bad.

Make sure you build in plenty of time for your student with autism's favorite things this holiday season!  Share some of your child's favorite things in the comments.

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