This post is sponsored by Warner Bros. All comments and opinions are my own.
In today's post, I want to encourage you to watch Young Sheldon because this show gives insight into what the world is like for my autistic son and my experience as his parent. Obviously, the show is a fictional comedy, but the team does an amazing job of creating a light-hearted view of issues that my son experiences. The show creates an enjoyable entertainment experience while also helping you to consider the world from a different viewpoint. Young Sheldon is now on 5 times a week. Here in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro, we watch the show on channel 33 (CW33) at 6pm (CST). Check here for your local listings. As a bonus, I'll also point you to a sweepstakes where you may enter for a chance to win a $10,000 prize.
My son attended preschool at a local university where there were many college students who did projects with him. I remember one day when he wanted to dig his way to China and a graduate student spent an entire afternoon teaching him about the layers of the earth's crust. He knows more about geology than me! He also built elaborate buildings out of blocks that spanned a 10'x5' area of their preschool room. The graduate students sectioned off part of the room because they couldn't believe what they were witnessing and let him build his elaborate creation for an entire week. Another highlight of preschool was that teachers would give kids floor puzzles. Once all of the kids gave up on their puzzles, they would send my son around to complete each child's puzzle. When we watch Young Sheldon, I see a lot of overlap in Sheldon. I am able to relate to his parents, grandmother, and siblings who are filled with love and patience. For instance, I love a scene where his mom tries to convince him to take off a bowtie for his first day in high school and to trust her social skills advice.
Her advice is quickly followed by an offer to take him to Radio Shack if he complies. My husband, son, and I laugh at this scene because we know that we have had variations of this scene in our own lives. You just need to update Radio Shack to a more modern store.
On the flip side of my son's amazing intelligence, he has to work extra hard on social skills. He attends weekly classes and sessions to practice social skills. He has made great progress over the years. Similar to watching the evolution of Sheldon over the years, we have noticed growth in this area for our own son too. Ours wasn't particularly interested in the other kids as a preschooler. He wasn't mean. He just wasn't very interested in other kids. He wanted to do his thing. On occasion, he would get frustrated and make it clear that he wanted to be left alone. There was a day where he turned himself into a "Mind Your Own Business Bot" at preschool. Moments like this felt embarrassing to me at the time, but now that he is older, I sympathize more with the little guy who felt frustrated from a full day of socializing and the noise that occurs in a room of preschoolers. I could imagine Young Sheldon doing something like this as a preschooler!
As a parent, it feels nice when your child has friends and is willing to play sports and other activities. I relate to Young Sheldon and his parents when I see snippets on the show where Sheldon refuses to participate in sports and is unwilling to play catch. My son was similar as a young child. Here is the only photo that we have where he is smiling in relation to sports equipment. The basketball hoop was not used for playing basketball, but rather used for science experiments.
When I watch Young Sheldon, it's a reminder that my son is going to be fine. The show is a comedy, but also does a great job of sharing Sheldon's view of the world. He's such a lovable character that engages and teaches the audience about the world from a different viewpoint than what most experience. My son feels happy when he watches the show. When others watch the show, I also hope that they feel the upbeat nature of the show while gaining more awareness of differences that some people experience due to autism.
Another highlight of Young Sheldon is that he "argues" in creative ways that are often loaded with fact-based knowledge. This is a problem that we experience. One teacher told us that our son would probably grow up to be a senator. That was their polite way of saying that he was pushy and argumentative. He will machine gun you with facts and arguments until you tell him to stop. Young Sheldon has similar arguments. For instance, on the day that our son wanted to dig his way to China, a grad student sat and explained the layers of the earth's crust to him for an entire afternoon to try to convince him that he couldn't dig his way to China. Of course, our son asked for specialized equipment to drill through different types of substrate, but they couldn't provide such things. One of his teachers apologized that they had to get a PhD student to spend the afternoon answering his questions because he was very upset about not being allowed to dig his way to China. This could truly be part of an episode on Young Sheldon. I could just imagine Sheldon asking a PhD student questions until they were exhausted! If you watch Young Sheldon, you will see many examples of "arguments". The show helps you to understand Sheldon's views which are often similar to my son's knowledge-based views. You see that Sheldon has a good heart and that the arguments stem from his heavily weighted fact-based knowledge views where he is often missing social cues or social norms. The "arguments" are never particularly hostile, but are probably considered annoying and comical when people don't know how to respond.
Now that you can watch several episodes a week, it makes you more empathetic and understanding of children and adults who have shortcomings with social skills. The show also helps you to see the incredible goodness in them too. That's why we look forward to watching this show every evening! We feel connected to a world where an autistic child is engaging, entertaining, and pushing to thrive in a world that doesn't completely know what to do with him. The unconditional love, support, and kindness is also a wonderful element of this show. Of course, we all know that Sheldon Cooper eventually grows up to have a happy life and to even earn a Nobel Prize on the fictitious show, The Big Bang Theory. I am certain that my own son will grow up to make game changing advances in our world!
Now that I've told you about this wonderful show, I hope that you will check it out. It's a perfect light-hearted comedy that your entire family will enjoy. You will connect with a lovable child and his family. The characters provide insight into a different view of the world that you and your family may not have experienced. I also hope that all of you will support this show because my son and many others in his situation would love for this show to have continued success! The Sheldons of the world are going to transform our world to bring us things that are even cooler than Microsoft, Tesla, space travel, and more. I hope that the trend continues where Young Sheldon is on 5 times a week. We hope for many more years of engaging episodes!
Finally, let me point you to Valpak's Young Sheldon sweepstakes where you will have a chance to win $10,000!