Monday, March 13, 2006

Sense of humor can be taught

I've written in the past about how important it is socially for our kids to dress stylishly. I also think it's just as important for their social well-being to develop a killer sense of humor. We were lucky enough to have our older son (who may have had the slightest bit of Asperger's, but probably would not be diagnosed as such) who, while he wasn't athletic at all, and wasn't too outgoing, was saved by the fact that he had an awesome sense of humor. He may have been quiet and shy in middle school and most of high school, but he had that ability to make people laugh that came in mighty handy when nothing else was working for him.

This son spent a lot of time watching stand-up comedy routines on TV with us. This was back in the 90's, when comedy on TV was a little cleaner than it is on the Comedy Channel now. This is kind of like the OLD days, when as kids guys would listen to and mimic old Bill Cosby records, or when we would watch Monty Python routines and repeat them over and over in high school. Our son had the two Asperger's traits that can be really useful for comedy -- brains and a great memory -- and so he could use the stuff he learned on TV at school, and after a good amount of time, make up his own routines. He also was a terrific mimic, and could recreate any accent that he heard with pretty good accuracy -- another good thing for a comic.

I've often wanted to try to record old Bill Cosby shows, and edit them for specifically good content, and then give them to Will's social skills class for teaching social cues and humor. I've also wanted to try and find old Friday Night Standup routines, edit them for bad language and and other inappropriate content, but use them to teach humor. If there's anyone out there who's already done this sort of thing with success, I'd love to hear from you. And if I ever get around to actually doing this, I'll let you know.



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