How Playtime with Zeebu™ Began
As a parent with two boys on the autism spectrum, I longed for ways to connect with them. I was determined to find a way to experience a shared look or smile.
I became dedicated to their learning; constantly focusing on teaching them new ways to engage and build skills. To my surprise, what I found is that I am the one learning. My children teach me patience, to be present, and most of all how it feels to have a limited ability to communicate.
I am constantly curious about how Michael and Jack learn and how I can motivate and guide them. Throughout this journey I have found that my children desperately need help relating to what other people are thinking as well as understanding other people's feelings. I know that being in tune with emotions and feelings is critical to their social development. Focusing on social communication is a top priority of mine. This is the focus that lead to the creation of Playtime with Zeebu™.
It started in our playroom. As social problems would arise in our everyday lives, I would put on puppet shows for my kids. Interacting with the puppets, we would act out various social situations. During these shows I noticed my kids were very attentive. The puppets were dealing with the same issues that were going on in their lives.
As I created the shows I was happy to see that my kids wanted to see them over and over! I found that there were limitless possibilities where positive social skills could be reinforced. After watching the puppet shows, my kids began to imitate the shows I had performed. This gave them practice to work out specific social scenes so they would be ready when they encountered the situation again, whether at school or at home. Playtime with Zeebu™ is a chance to share with you the impact that one-on-one interaction with a puppet can have on your child's social awareness. Zeebu and his friends are great vehicles that show developmentally delayed children how to utilize social skills in a fun, playful way.
Kimberly L. Gallo