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Autism Sibling Wins Northern Virginia Reflections 2009 Literature Award

Can Cartoons, Movies, TV Impact Your ASD Child?

Coyote-06 By J. Bradley Borden

In general, I've never big a big fan of blaming violent movies, TV, or video games, for the acts committed by people who view them regularly. However, if you have a kid with autism, you might consider taking a look at what exactly your child is watching. While this is a great idea for all parents, sometimes autism parents might assume that a certain show is OK or think your child is not paying attention to what YOU are watching.

In our case, our daughter is super perceptive even when we think she is focused on something else entirely. She also seems to tune in to our moods, which can also be a factor considering what you are watching. You often hear people say that kids with autism do not imitate others. This is not the case for lots of kids with autism. Our daughter does lots of imitating of people in real life and stuff from movies. Kids with autism are often very visual thinkers.

Video Modeling is even a therapy used to teach social behaviors to children on the Autism spectrum. In our case, what might appear to be just general bad behavior could have roots in a movie she saw last night, last week, or last year. Even movies that are NOT VIOLENT and perfectly fine with neuro-typical kids, can result in unwanted behaviors. One prime example of a movie banned from ever seeing the light of day in our house is the 1999 Walt Disney movie TARZAN. For one thing, Tarzan swing from everything under the sun. There are also lots of OVER ACTIVE MONKEYS being monkeys. None of these are things you want imitated. Acting like a monkey in Walmart could perhaps result in some parenting stress even for the best of us. Yes, that can be a pain, but some acts in what you might consider safe media, could result in serious injury or even death if imitated by your child.
One thing that I assumed was fine was Looney Tunes. Our daughter loves Bugs Bunny. She likes to take her Bugs Bunny doll with her lots of times. He is her most beloved doll. So much so, that she threw Buggs off of a moving train while we were going over a bridge in a heavily wooded area at the Six Flags amusement park right before we were about to enter BUGGS BUNNY NATIONAL PARK! Buggs was rescued by a brave Six Flags employee. Why would she do such a thing? At first thought, it doesn't make much logical sense to my brain. However, have you ever seen all of the things that Looney Tunes characters endure? Being thrown off of a moving train is actually pretty tame compared to a lot of the things the Buggs Bunny cartoon character gets himself into on screen. I watched Looney Tunes as a kid and my memory of them really didn't match up to reality. We are guilty of popping in a movie in the car DVD player, giving her the headphone and letting her watch a movie while we listen to something else. When I watched some of these classic cartoons with her, I was a tad shocked at some of the subject matter. The first episode that I watched had a prostitute, a homicide, and a suicide! The next involved about a dozen ways that the Road Runner tortured Wile E. Coyote. This was followed by Buggs apparently committing suicide while playing a friendly game of russian roulette with Yosemite

Sam. I'm not going to go into the full laundry list of Looney Tunes debauchery here, but will give you a couple of examples that would not be wise to imitate. Below is Buggs Bunny after he was HANGED by another character. The second picture shows a character who was just submerged in boiling water because another character thought he resembled a lobster. The only consequence of these acts in the cartoon world was some mocking by the other characters. Real world imitations Bugs Bunny Hangingof either of these could result in a lot bad things. 

Movies, TV, video games, and the Internet can be great tools for your visual learner if you provide the right input. So, watch what you are introducing to your ASD child's mind. The problem behaviors that you are enjoying may be the direct result of some simple cartoon that you assumed was fine.

J. Bradley Borden is the father of an 8 year old with autism and the author of the Autism Parents blog, Treatments4Autism blog and The Autism Retort.


Maddox Cox

I have autism and love Looney Tunes, these gags were just funny... i never attempted Russian Roulette or fall off a cliff.

David Morris

Well, I think there should be timings schedule for children to see television shows which may be one or two hours each day and I think it is enough for them.


I have very funny thing with my baby which in real is a problem for me.

I have tried so many things post 5 month completion of baby ,but nothing was working out….

As I hail from India , here one cartoon character “Chhota Bheem” & another one which is famous across the world “wheels on the bus” is extremely famous & kids can easily develop connect with this….while watching this cartoon my baby take the feed very easily & comfortably & :-) really he dont take a single pie if I pause this cartoon on youtube.

My husband made a Youtube video of baby’s feeding during watching it & posted there (he was considering this trick as a help for feeding) , kindly spare time & have a look on this this as this has become an obsession for my baby

My question is , how can I develop the habbit of taking feed regularly while he not watching the cartoon ?

I have already visited many doctors but baby is not keen to take the feed without watching cartoons

Kindly help & pls suggest what to do………


My son tends to grab any violent piece from any movie, even semi bad language ( toy story,sods sister says STUPID DOG)
He saw Big Hero 6 which I am so sorry I allowed. The previews make you think it's cute and funny but it has a very unexpected dark side. He will grab you by the throat and say he will Destroy you,and will "blow up" the school, or whatever.
I have to be very careful.
He also gets very upset,cries and doesn't understand things too.
My husband wants to show him Star Wars...


My question is, does watching cartoons speed regression. We let our son watch cartoons for a couple hours a night before bed and he will be 5 next month. When he watches them his mouth is open, his eyes as big as saucers and he mentally records lines and repeats them afterward for months. He watches Sofia the first, jake and the Netherland pirates, and Mickey Mouse clubhouse. Nothing too extreme. But afterward when it is time for bed he has a fit that we turn them off, he doesn't sleep well, he starts to go to the bathroom in his pants again, he doesn't listen or do what he is told and it's like starting all over again.


so Young children with Autism do like cartoons or not? is it good for them or bad?

I am doing a research paper on how to teach young autistic children English as a second language, please help me.



Hi, Philip, thanks for commenting and sharing your unique insight. Welcome to AofA. KIM

Philip Zamora

My apologies for not reading more carefully. I just realized that this was written by a father and not a mother.

Philip Zamora

I have been diagnosed with autism and never in all of my thirty years has a violent film ever made me want to do violence to another person. Perhaps, it's just my basic personality, my inherent docile nature if you will, but, at best, films helped me to figure out the world around me, and to know what was safe and what was dangerous. Thankfully, I also had parents that instilled in me basic virtues and I was raised in a very religious household so that balanced out what I was seeing in a film and what messages I was getting in the home. I've also had a sister who was abusive toward my parents, and I suppose growing up around such a person and witnessing the abuse they doled out set me straight. All I'm really trying to say is that it's never just what someone sees on television that causes them to do certain things, so we must be careful about blanket statements like "all autistic children should be prevented from seeing X,Y, or Z." It sounds like the writer of this article knows what her child is susceptible to, but I don't agree that it would or should work for all cases.

Time Warner Cable in Charlotte, North Carolina

This really wasn't meant to be a TV vs No TV debate, but some excellent points on limiting in general and I agree. Less = better for sure.

As much as I hate it, sometimes the only break we get around here is thanks to TV or the Internet.

Great tip on the video of her or us doing things. We've done that some and it's been a big help, especially relate to horse riding. I've even recorded little pep talks for her on video and put on DVD. Sometimes when I cannot keep her attention long enough to really discuss something, this helps.

Jenny McCarthy's Teach2Talk series is very good and relates to this topic.


PS - Wonder Pets and Mickey Mouse Club House are our two big allowed. We get a lot of verbalization and dancing from Mickey. She likes to put on a show for us and have the family dance.


Even children with other types of conditions can me dramatically influenced by certain kids shows. A good example is my little sister who has Down's Syndrome and she sometimes tries to imitate how Hannah Montana acts, which, in real life, becomes quiet awkward.


My little sister has Down's Syndrome and since she also does not distinguish between things teenagers acting on sitcoms like Hannah Montana and real life teenage life, she would often do strange things to imitate some of the behaviors that create a comedic situation in these sitcoms. Although not dangerous, adolescent children aren't really the most understanding and polite.

Armil@cable tv

I think most of the child nowadays are affected by what they see most especially that they are exposed to TV shows. As parents we cannot see them all the time or inspect what they are watching . Also children thinks that what they see is the thing that is right.


Please read for further info on Autism vs. TV


It seems to me that the caregivers posting here are onto something big. I do not have autistic children, but I am trying to understand autism since it is such a hugely growing trend. After reading these posts, my conclusion is that TV has quite a lot to do with the disorder.

TV prevents normal person-to-person interaction, real learning (hands-on experiences, reading, etc.), and DOES HAVE DOCUMENTED EFFECTS ON BRAIN DEVELOPMENT. Remember the saying, "too much TV rots your brain"? It's absolutely true!

Even my non-autistic kids (5 and 3) become noticeably more disobedient and cranky after watching just a short cartoon. We guard what they watch very carefully, and we do not have cable. They watch a total of maybe a few hours a week (and my husband and I watch about 5-7 hours a week), and I am a stay-at-home mom and college student.

Get those kids outside in the fresh air, even if its a tad cold or rainy. Dress for the weather. Read to your children! That is great bonding time and interaction. Break the TV habit with yourself and your kids.

And, DISCIPLINE them!! You don't have to spank, but don't put up with tantrums either. Put them in their room if they scream and throw fits (my non-autistic, yet extremely strong-willed kids have kept a tantrum up for nearly an hour before). Stand your ground, clean out their rooms (and the house) of breakables, get some earplugs (seriously, or you'll go crazy during fit times), and DON'T BACK DOWN! I know you are tired, I know your head hurts, I know you just want all the yelling to stop (I feel the same way), but I promise you will see improvements after a week or two when your kids realize you mean what you say.

Sheesh. Seems to me after reading these posts, there is more wrong with the parents and grandparents than the children.

Frank Martin DiMeglio

The following is an essential addition to this entire discussion. I will now clearly demonstrate why autistic children should not be watching any television.

The overeating during television occurs in keeping with the fact that TV is an extended, interactive, and unnatural form of dream vision AS waking vision. Bodily feeling/sensation is therefore reduced during TV (as is the case during dream experience), so the feeling of fullness is reduced/lacking. Dr. Joyce Starr agrees with this as well. (Television is an unnatural creation of generalized thought; accordingly, TV may be held to be a generalized hallucination.) The experience of sound and vision in/as TV is even more like thought than in the case of the vision and sound in the dream.

Emotion is manifest as sensory experience and feeling.

TV involves emotional detachment, disintegration, contraction, and loss; and this certainly relates to (or involves) depression and anxiety as well. Importantly, TV also reduces memory and thought; and this is also consistent with/similar to dream experience. Hence, the overeating while watching television relates to the reduction in thought and memory as well.

Television is only possible because this disintegration, reconfiguration, contraction (i.e., compression), and extension of visual sensory experience occurs during dreams. Accordingly, both television viewing and dreams may be said to include (or involve) reduced ability to think, anxiety, and increased distractibility. Television thus compels attention, as it is compelled in the dream; but it is an unnatural and hallucinatory experience. Hence, television is addictive. Similar to the visual experience while dreaming, television compels attention to the relative exclusion of other experience. Television reduces consciousness and results in a flattening of the visual experience as a result of combining waking visual experience with relatively unconscious visual experience. Television involves the experience of what is less animate, for it involves a significant reduction in (or loss of) visual experience. This disintegration of the visual experience (as in the dream) also results in an emotional disintegration (i.e., anxiety). That television may be so described (and even possible) is hard to imagine; but this is consistent with the fact that it took so very many different minds (and thoughts) of genius in order to make the relatively unconscious visual experience of the dream conscious. Since the thinking that is involved in making the experience of television possible is so enormously difficult, it becomes difficult to think while partaking of that experience. Television may be seen as an accelerated form or experience of art, thereby making someone less wary (or less anxious) initially, but less creative and more anxious (as time passes) as the advance of the self becomes unsustainable. The experience (or effects) of television demonstrates the interactive nature of being and experience; for, in the dream, there is also a reduction in the totality (or extensiveness) of experience.

Thought involves a relative reduction in the range and extensiveness of feeling. In keeping with this, dreams make thought more like sensory experience in general. Accordingly, both thought and also the range and extensiveness of feeling are proportionately reduced in the dream. (This reduction in the range and extensiveness of feeling during dreams is consistent with the fact that the experience of smell very rarely occurs therein.) Since there is a proportionate reduction of both thought and feeling during dreams, the experience of the body is generally (or significantly) lacking; for thought is fundamentally rendered more like sensory experience in general. Thoughts and emotions are differentiated feelings. By involving the mid-range of feeling between thought and sense, dreams make thought more like sensory experience in general. The reduction in the range and extensiveness of feeling during dreams is why there is less memory and thought therein.

Dream vision is generally closer (or flattened), thereby resulting in a loss/reduction of peripheral vision as well. Comparatively, television further flattens vision; and it also involves a reduction in peripheral vision.

In the dream, vision and thought are semi-detached from touch (and feeling). One may or may not be able to touch what is seen in the dream. In the visual experience that is television, the visual images may not be (and are not) touched at all. In the case of waking vision, one can [generally] touch what one sees.

It is not only in the dream that the vision of each individual person is necessarily different. That is obvious. Importantly, the experience of television is uniquely that of the individual.

Television may be understood as a creation of generalized thought. The ability of thought to describe or reconfigure sense is ultimately dependent upon the extent to which thought is similar to sense.

Television makes thought even more like vision than in the dream, thereby reducing thought and vision. Thoughts are relatively shifting and variable. Likewise, dream vision is relatively shifting and variable. In the case (and form) of television, the visual images become more shifting and variable than that of the dream; and this is in keeping with attention being compelled and sustained in conjunction with these images being even more like (or consistent with) thought. People tend to believe what they see (and hear) during television.

Ordinary (and natural) vision is removed and replaced in the case of television. Unlike art, which can be the interactive creation of any one person, television is impossible for any one person to possibly create or otherwise experience.

Television is an hallucination. Hallucinations are already known to be connected with/associated with/”caused by” all sorts of very serious mental/physical/emotional conditions or disorders. It is undeniable that this is a very important and serious matter.


I was actually searching for if anyone else autistic child has an obsession with books and movies? My autistic daughter has an obsession with mostly DVDs and VHS videos. Her room is almost a library with so many bookshelves. Then I stumbled upon this blog, and I never thought imitating could possibly even be...death. But, she mostly watches Sesame Street, Barney, and children cartoons. Yes, I agree though, you need to limit or watch what your autistic child watches. This is really good advice, and there is a difference between children cartoons and cartoons. We had to get rid of Cartoon Network when they had that Adult Swim come on. Not suitable for children at all. She is really good at imitating and has a really good memory. She usually just dances and sings, and talks about characters like she knows them or they're here with her. Nothing much in public places. Except took her to a couple Live shows locally, when Sesame Street came to town, and she wanted to get on stage and dance and sing with them! LOL


I would just like to add, that it's not just cartoons, but also the Disney movies. My grandson wants to watch Disney movies and I've found most of them to have extreme amounts of violence in them. Mulan, Shrek, Aladdin, and Lion King are loaded with chaos and violence. It diffenately has an affect on his behavior. I think Disney needs to take a look at what they are putting in front of our children. It's not for the general public. I've even found sexual innuendos in the Shrek movie. We as parents have to be the gatekeepers.


Holly - my son's fav show is Agent Oso - one of the few he actually sits and watchs the entire thing. I too watch for shows that have redeeming values and I think this is a great one.

As a side, I think our kids model everything. Yesterday, we were at a Kung Fu demonstration/party for my typical son - they used a chinese dragon (one person in front, other in back) - my ASD son loved it. After they were done - he started crawling on all fours - arms straight like the back guy was - never seen him do that before.

J. Bradley Borden

This really wasn't meant to be a TV vs No TV debate, but some excellent points on limiting in general and I agree. Less = better for sure.

As much as I hate it, sometimes the only break we get around here is thanks to TV or the Internet.

Great tip on the video of her or us doing things. We've done that some and it's been a big help, especially relate to horse riding. I've even recorded little pep talks for her on video and put on DVD. Sometimes when I cannot keep her attention long enough to really discuss something, this helps.

Jenny McCarthy's Teach2Talk series is very good and relates to this topic.


PS - Wonder Pets and Mickey Mouse Club House are our two big allowed. We get a lot of verbalization and dancing from Mickey. She likes to put on a show for us and have the family dance.

Christopher Smith

We removed all TV from our home about 2 years ago and we really don't miss it!


We had to ban The Incredibles from the house. Just too much crazy violent action and sound effects. Our son has been exactly the same as you describe. He and his sister have just discovered Tom and Jerry and he seems to be old enough to handle it without taking it literally. But the bottom line is...especially with younger kids, watching the calm, positive stuff (PBS, Little Bear)...and Special Agent OSO! Congrats to your husband and family, Holly, it's a really good show!


"Special Agent Oso" is a great show, Holly it makes perfect sense now that I know the background. Thank you!


Our kids tend to be very literal. That right there tells us what we need to understand about them and cartoons.

Autism Grandma

I remember a great teacher in my Child Psychology class in college who presented us with this information 35 years ago regarding the potential negative impact of television on children, so my own daughter was only allowed to watch Sesame Street, Little House on the Prairie and later the Waltons. The rest of the time she was playing in the backyard with her playmate on the swingset, in the pool, in the playhouse, with the dog and cat etc. She did not feel "deprived" and that was way back before television morphed into the constant violence that we see today.

However my daughter did not have autism and almost no one did back then. Learning videos like Baby Genius and Sesame Street have been a lifesaver for my grandson. I get them cheap on Ebay. In the beginning he really was "obscessed" but the more he responds to recovery therapies, the more he is willing to play and interact with us, so there are days when the TV is not even on at all now.

I have been horrified at the so called "Children's Programming" on cable TV, although some of it is quite excellent, we have to search for quality programs, with a majority being of a negative influence. I can't believe how popular "Sponge Bob" is with the parents of typical children permitting this...lots of screaming, anger, chaos and aggression which can only be a bad role model example to ANY kids, but especially autistic children.

We do allow certain shows on cable, like my grandson's favorite, "Wonder Pets", but then the problem is "Sponge Bob" will start after this sometimes and then I have to shut it off and say "Bye Bye". He doesn't scream anymore when I turn it off like he used to because he is farther along in his recovery and is accepting more of Grandma or Mommy "says NO". I just love the Wonder Pets lessons of "caring, helping and rescueing" and even the words to the song sometimes bring tears to my eyes: "We're not too big and we're not too tough, but when we work together we got the right stuff". Now that my neice and daughter are living here with me when this show comes on we all sing the song together and my grandson is starting to be able to sing a few words at a time, and always at the end now he hollers out the words "Go" (wonderpets) and "Yeah". I am so grateful that he is finally starting to speak words that I just feel like crying all the time.

Jacey Capurso

Yes. I agree almost 100 per cent when it comes to my son. He is absolutely obsessed with tv so we limit it to a Friday night movie night and Sunday is pretty much free if we are stuck home in a snow blizzard. Otherwise no tv. The reason is exactly what JBB said. My son immitates everything. Forget the cartoons - of which I know everything about since my son will talk about them for days. I even tried to "upgrade" his shows to Disneys "Zack And Cody" and he picked up on their dramatic body and
"back talk". He is absolutely using the actors on tv as his basis for social skills and behavior. He is too " dramatic" with his mannerisms and his voice fluctuates too much - though appropriate for an actor on the soundstage of his latest favorite movie "The Goonies" . (if u remember there is a lot of high pitched screaming and frantic discussions.). He will also use a lot of the bad language which is so hard to curb.
So yes - when it comes to my son, I think I am going to try to stick to Non-fiction tv like animal planet....though my husband was watching "Myth Busters" with him tonight before bed.....I can't even imagine what tomorrow is going to be like. Sigh.
I have to go now … and collect all the lighters in my house.


I completely agree that what our kids see really matters , and we always have to be vigilant. There's a great Disney preschool show on every day called "Special Agent Oso" that breaks down basic skills (like brushing your teeth or tieing your shoes) into "three special steps" much like what we do with ABA. It's visually interesting, has catchy spy music and teaches a lot in an 11 minute format. The producer/creator also happens to have son on the spectrum and the show was very much inspired by his therapy. And I'm proud to say that the producer/creator is my wonderful husband, and his inspiration was our son who is recovering from autism, so I am biased. Honestly, though, the show is a great teaching tool for our community.

donna  nunn

Wow, Nicole. You are so right. Until this article I believed I was the only parent that has ever had to go through this. You are correct when you say that it impedes real world interaction. I have a son with ASD. He is now 21 years old, but I can promise you that I and my boy went through this exact same thing when he was little.
This was a child who was obsessed with cartoons and video game characters and it broke my heart to see the way his obsession was affecting him. It got so bad for him that when he was 5 and a half and 6 years old I had to ban cartoons altogether, period. Not even I or my husband or visitors to my home were allowed to watch them for several years, that is how frustrated and afraid I was for my child. My son was almost 6 years old, was verbal, but mostly echolalic, whether it be immediate or delayed, his speech was very limited to jargon nonsense and echolalia. He couldn't carry on a conversation with another child or follow 2 and 3 step directions, but he could recite a month-long amount of nonsensical comments by Bugs Bunny. He even imitated and acted out the physical aspects of the characters. To some people this seemed cute and funny, but to me it was heartbreaking because it prevented normal interaction with other children. At this age he liked most children and usually wanted to play with them or alongside them, but with poor communication skills and lack of socialization made it difficult. And the biggest problem was the acting out that he did of the cartoon characters: if Bugs ranted and raved like a lunatic or Daffy, Yosemite Sam, etc, that is how my son would act. Other kids would approach him and try to interact with him, but as soon as they would hear and see him doing and saying these things they would run away, either making fun of him or just because it scared them. It killed me inside. My son didn't understand that doing these things was the reason these kids would run away.
I was so desperate to help him and just didn't know what else to do. I had nobody who understood. And I knew nobody else whose child had any form of autism whatsoever. I was just learning to understand it myself so I felt very alone and helpless.
My husband and I went through months and months of pure hell and being judged by family and friends who felt we were overreacting by taking away all cartoons and even his video games. I would use his video games as a reward only for good behavior and no more than that. Even those were limited to about 30 minutes each day. Every day for months, I endured 24/7 tantrums, kicking me, kicking walls, acting out in other ways, until he understood that I was far more stubborn than he would or could ever be and hell or high water, I wasn't giving in. And I didn't.
Within a year, his interactions with others, but especially children were much better , there was more appropriate talking, behaviors, not perfect or as typical as a so-called normal child but so much better than before. Those months were pure hell, but I would do it all over again if I had to. His behavior at school was better too.
So, I for one certainly do not think you are crazy. I think you are an amazing parent that wants to do the best for their child and I have so much respect for you.You keep right on doing what you are doing because you are doing your best with what you know. Congratulations!
Also, ironically, my son who is now 21 years old, is an author of a comic book of cartoon characters he made up himself as he grew up. He draws and has drawn since he was just a little thing. He has always replaced one obsession with another, but in this book of characters there is nobody violent and it no longer interferes with his learing. I hope this gives you hope that one day you can sit with your child and watch an average cartoon again and not think the worst. My boy still has his problems but maturity and patience and a bullheaded mama to boot has sure helped alot. And the best we can do for a child is talk with them. Be there for them, and do what we know and trust our instincts and to hell with others.
God bless you. You are courageous.

Nicole MS

This article has some valid points, but falls short of dealing with video media's impact. Yes, kids will copy some dangerous things from videos. What is not mentioned is it also impedes real world matter what, you'll never been as interesting as Elmo, Clifford the Big Red Dog, etc. Thus, for interaction purposes, videos/computers/etc. should be extremely limited (even gotten rid of completely for a time). Sound crazy? It did to us, but we did it, and we have a much more interactive relationship with our daughter.

If someone wants to use videos, try starting with video recording the nice things that your child does. String together a bunch of clips that show how terrific they are...make them the star of the show. ...and yes, you can find times where your child is doing positive things...just look for them. What you focus on, you make bigger. If you only look for negative, you'll find negative, and the opposite it true too, so look for positive.

As to the monkey in Walmart reference in this article, there's an opportunity that's being missed. If my daughter wanted to be a monkey in Walmart, I would join her and show her some silly, but safe ways monkeys can play...and if the strangers at Walmart think badly of me being a monkey, who cares! My daughter's development is more important than the judgments of strangers.


Definitely agree that there are plusses and minuses. If you're looking for POSITIVE role models, consider PBS - loaded with polite, curious kids interacting appropriately with one another and with adults.

Have also noticed my son is now using expressions he picks up quite appropriately... and since he's now 13, very slight crudity is actually funny!


another parent

The best thing to do is break the habit and dump cable. We recorded many of the shows prior to getting rid of cable and bought some DVD's on ebay. For about $100 you can buy more DVD's of shows and movies that will provide 20 hours of stuff to watch, not to mention the hours recorded for free. We used a tevo that will dump the recordings on DVD.

Mary Beth Palo

Thre is good and bad to the tv....
You definitely have to watch what your kids are watching - or what is on the tv - because they are absorbing it even though you may not think they are.
My son learns and can imitate almost whatever he sees..... he originally learned how to talk thru video modeling ( and now we use video for his sports - specifically diving - which is how he became a nationally ranked springboard diver.
So - the power of that TV is much stronger than you may think!


Wow, I never would have thought about those Bugs Bunny shows being so violent! Great post, thanks for bringing it to our attention. :)

chantal Sicile-Kira

Great article, good points. Even my son, Jeremy, who is not a visual learner, picks up what he hears on TV. On or off the spectrum, our children's brains are like sponges, pulling in everything they hear and see. We don't always know how they are interpreting what goes in, and if they don't communicate easily, we forget that they are like sponges. We have to help them understand what they are seeing and hearing. Even with cartoons.
Thanks for sharing!


Very good point! Our son, who does not model people much in real life, often models actions he sees on TV & DVDs. Sometimes it takes us a while to realize which show it might have come from and sometimes it may have come from something he watched ages ago. But he remembers. It should really make one think about what YOU as the parent/caregiver is watching as well...some of our kids are much more observant than they let on. Thanks for the reminder.

Susan Richardson

GREAT POST!! Our daughter imitates as well... in fact, she will recite an entire cartoon or movie she has seen from start to finish before bed most nights. Aside this tiresome ritual, she has been imitating George of the Jungle jumping off the furniture while hanging onto the vine called a drape. Recently she put it around her neck... it could have been catastrophic. Every parent with a child should read this post...

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