For some reason, I've figured out that these pictures come up very high in the Google Images search for pictures of Yo Gabba Gabba. I hope if you've found them that way, you don't mind that this isn't really a Yo Gabba Gabba blog! It's a blog about my daughter with autism. If you'd like to learn more about life with a child with autism, this post---- link --- is a bit of a sum-up I posted recently. Thanks!
My favorite part of the show is the very, very simple social lessons it teaches. I think someone involved in the show must have a child with autism, or understand autistic kids, because the lessons are taught in the way we have to teach Janey. No long fables, no coming to your own conclusions, no vagueness. They are saying like "Don't Bite Your Friends", "Don't Hit Your Friends", "Don't Say Mean Things to Our Friends", etc. They are sung over and over, and illustrated with very simple little scenes---one of the monsters gets over-excited and bites his friend, one of the guys hits the other and so on.
And there's an extremely weird character that's on a few shows that truly impresses me, in an off-beat way. It's a crying monster, Gooble. The monster is tall and white and obviously very sad. The other characters do ask why he cries all the time, but DJ Lance Rock pretty much tells them---we don't know, but we will still be nice to him. He's our friend.
It struck me seeing this how very, very rare it is on kids shows to see an emotionally different child. Kids shows are chock full of lessons about not treating people who LOOK different than us differently. Any kid watching TV much at all will learn that lesson a thousand times over. We learn also about kids in wheelchairs, kids that can't see or can't hear, and kids that talk different languages. But when, ever, do we learn that some kids ACT differently? And act differently FULL TIME, not just shows about kids having a bad day and crying and then it gets figured out and fixed? I don't think much, ever.
Janey cries a lot. There are days she cries most all day. She is a lot like Gooble that way. We usually don't know why she is crying. Kids have asked me that, and I don't have an answer, except just that Janey is that way, sometimes. Other days, Janey laughs all day with no reason, or sings the same song over and over, or looks blankly into space, or plays with her hands. This isn't an easy, 20 minute show, problem. It's not that someone took away her toy and she is sad about it, or that she is not feeling good. The emotional displays are part of her. So it amazed me, thrilled me, that a show actually seemed to get that kids need to learn that. It's a great, great lesson. We are all different, not just physically or in terms of abilities, but in terms of how we act. I'd love to see more kids TV that addresses that. If the rise of autism is true, I would bet it's a huge growth market for TV.
Meanwhile, we'll be enjoying the inspired weirdness of Gooble and the rest of the gang.