Saturday, January 16, 2010

Baby Einstein videos: educated my autistic son

Baby Einstein, I'll vow for you!

Don't we have greater problems to take care of in this world? Yes, our children are our most valued possessions, but destroying the reputation of a brand, like Baby Einstein, that (in fact) does not harm our little ones is crazy. Our tax dollars need to go towards keeping pedophiles off the street, terrorists out of our country, and executive honesty in corporations. PLEASE, ENOUGH ALREADY!

I have read other mommy blogs about this subject with great disappointment. I will not even give the links because that would only promote their theories and make me a hypocrite. The recent NY Times article infuriates me. I ask these mommy's and the legal system creating this hoopla: Don't you think that the parent, not companies, should harbor the responsibility of enforcing the recommendation of the the American Pediatric Association...that a child under 2 should not watch any television? You have the power parents! If you don't want your child to watch television, then don't turn it on.

In regards to the previous claims that the Baby Einstein videos is falsely promoting its videos as educational. Are you kidding me!? When you were young, did you (and I'm speaking to today's parents) know the sounds of Mozart, Beethoven, or Bach? Did you realize the makings of Van Gough or Monet? Did you know the sections of an orchestra? Oh, I forgot to mention...did you know any of this by the age of 3? It is proven that music and visualization work different areas of the brain. Introducing these to children at an early age creates interest for future endeavors.

Truthfully, I don't want my child to be an Einstein. What I do want is for him to be happy and have an appreciation of the arts. That is what the Baby Einstein videos create. Michael Clark, Julie Aigner-Clark- I'll vow for you and the precious videos you created. A mother with an autistic child, I received the Baby Bach video as a gift from a friend. At the time, I didn't know there were problems with my son. I just knew he was "sensitive" and demanded much of my time walking, bouncing, and singing. From the very first time I put the video on, my son received the needed feedback (or input) that many children with sensory integration problems seek. He was mesmerized. You ask for proof of the benefits. I'll give you a list relating to the entire family, not just my son:
  • Comfortable: The music provided a comfort for him. Paired with the visual stimulation of puppets, movement, or lighting, his senses were revitalized. Almost immediately, during his time watching these videos, he stopped his fidgeting and his crying. (happiness ensued)
  • Parent effectiveness: The Baby Einstein videos gave me 20 minutes of re-grouping and sanity maintenance. I was able to sit down and eat a meal or wash my hair. You can't imagine what a much needed pick-me-up that was.
  • Interest and therapy: By now, you may be thinking: "she is not a hands on mother or cares about monitoring her child's entertainment" or "she is using the television as a babysitter". WRONG again! Ask any of my family or friends and you will understand the depth of my dedication. My son is autistic, I can't afford to be complacent. Therapists moved through my home throughout the day. I learned from them and worked with them. Then I advocated for my child. I spent (and still spend) hours researching to find the keys to help my baby. I educated myself on the benefits of alternative therapies like music therapy and the sensory system. What I found out is that the Baby Einstein videos provide a priceless service to us all...a type of therapy. I admit my claims are my own and not "research-based". My point, I am not a neglectful mother. I am a well educated, family first, forget-the-wash-and-the- dishes-so-I-can-play-or-draw-with-my-child mom. My claims are my own research, and THAT is good enough.
  • Educational: You say, not educational? I beg to differ. My son (at the age of 6) is learning the drums. Some research suggests that drumming is beneficial to children on the spectrum because of their sensory difficulties. His interest in the percussion (what we call, the Baby Hippo video) helped lead us to lessons. For practicing purposes, the only music I have downloaded on my iphone is that of the Baby Einstein series and music from the drum teacher. Even my husband and I are tuned into the differences of Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach. At any time my son will hear a classical tune he learned from the Baby Einstein videos, he will stop everything he is doing to listen or seek out where the tune is playing from. That is true education.
  • Visual: Pairing visualization with conceptual teaching enhances retention. Add the auditory sounds of these videos to convey a feeling or funny action and this is a home run! We all need to connect the dots this way. A child with autism needs this even more. Typically, an autistic child is a visual learner. Their communication efforts are harbored so it is with visualization techniques that we (parents, therapists and teachers) are able to provide a bridge for them to learn and communicate effectively and without frustration. In their techniques, Baby Einstein is opening up these little minds to a sea of wonderful imagination, music, art, sounds, poetry etc. Explain to me how this is not educating my child?
  • Routine: We all need, kids thrive on it. Each Baby Einstein video is carefully structured so the child can set its own expectations. Knowing what comes next is comforting to a child. They are learning so much, so fast that they seek out routine. The Baby Einstein videos build upon the others so that with each new video, the child still feels secure and a a sense of familiarity.

That's my "2" cents!


  1. You may be interested to check out the Free Sound Therapy Home Programme available from Sensory Activation Solutions. Their Auditory Activation Method builds on the pioneering work of Dr. Alfred Tomatis (Tomatis method) and Dr. Guy Bérard (Auditory Integration Training) and has been specifically developed with the aim to improve sensory processing, interhemispheric integration and cognitive functioning. It has helped many children and adults with a wide range of learning and developmental difficulties, ranging from dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder to sensory processing disorders and autism. It is not a cure or medical intervention, but a structured training programme that can help alleviate some of the debilitating effects that these conditions can have on speech and physical ability, daily behaviour, emotional well-being and educational or work performance.

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  2. I haven't read the hoopla on the Baby Einstein stuff (my son was past that age when they were introduced). But if they allow you 20 minutes to wash your hair, or drink a cup of tea--then I'm all for them! As the parent of an autistic child all I can say is 'been there, done that'. We know what works and we work our rears off for it.
    You Go, Girl!

  3. Wonderful Blog!! I am also a mother of an autistic child and just started my own blog!!