Many children and adults with autism struggle with apraxia and other speech difficulties. Some have only minor speech impairments, while others never learn to speak a single word. When families do finally have a breakthrough in teaching an autistic loved one how to speak, it’s worth celebrating!
A father from Corona, California recently found a way to teach his autistic son how to speak after nothing else was working. Earl Wright knew that his 8-year-old son, Shawn, loved movies like The Incredibles, so he decided to use scenes from the boy’s favorite movies to encourage him to speak.
In the video below, which Earl originally posted to Reddit, he can be seen prompting Shawn to repeat the famous words said by Frozone in the original The Incredibles movie: “Where’s my super-suit? I need it!”
“Memorizing and scripting movie scenes has helped my son immensely in his ability to speak,” Earl wrote in his post. “Diagnosed as non-verbal autistic at 3 years old. Sharing moments like this have made 2020 bearable.”
Now Reddit is hailing Earl as a superhero himself. “I love seeing your posts. You’re so amazing with your kids and it’s honestly inspiring. If I can be half the dad to my son as you are to yours, I know I’ll be a great dad,” wrote Reddit user straighttalkin64.
Reddit user Jets237 also chimed in: “Thanks for posting here. I’m just starting the journey with my son. He’s almost 3 and minimally verbal. Singing songs together has helped him communicate a bit but I really like this […] Congrats on making such great progress with your little guy while celebrating who he is. You’re a great dad, and it’s clear your son appreciates it.”
Earl, of course, has remained modest despite all the praise. He only hopes he can help some other parents during a trying time in their lives.
“I share our experiences to give others the same hope I needed myself when my son was first diagnosed,” he says.
We have no doubt that this video will give other parents struggling with children who can’t speak some hope—and some new ideas—during difficult times. Here’s to creative solutions to life’s problems!
Check out the video below to see Earl’s teaching method in person and hear Shawn speak some of the first words he’s been able to learn to say!Whizzco