~Your Turn~

This month you will read an amazing story about a boy who has autism and how Jackie has helped to teach him to talk. Autism is a serious condition that happens to children. Autistic children often have problems with communication (talking to others) and social interaction (making friends and acting in a normal way). Here is the incredible story of Kids Club member Scott as told by his mother, Michele. Michele hopes that Scott’s story will inspire other children who have Autism.

My son is 4 years old and has Autism. Through watching Jackie Chan movies he has learned to talk again. By saying again, I mean with Autism a lot of times a child will lose their ability to talk around the age of 2. My son was no exception. That is until Jackie Chan came into our lives through a television screen.

It all started one night when we were watching Shanghai Noon and the scene came on where Jackie slides off the horse and says to Owen Wilson, "Ow! Hurt!". My son watched that and tilted his head sideways and repeated the word “hurt.” Finally he had connected the word with the meaning. Scott had never been able to tell me when he was in pain, This was very frustrating to both he and I.

The next day Scott fell and as usual I went to him to try to comfort him. Did I ever get a wonderful surprise. Scott looked at me with his big blue eyes full of tears and pointed at his leg and said, 'Hurt!" To me this was the miracle I had been waiting for. I hugged Scott and said, "Thank you, Jackie Chan!!!!!!!"

Since that day Scott has loved watching Jackie Chan movies and has learned many words from watching them. I have almost every movie Jackie has made. Some I have had to buy directly from Hong Kong.

Scott also loves Jackie's music. If you have seen the American version of Armour of God (in America it is titled “Operation Condor 2: The Armour of the Gods”), the song played over the outtakes and closing credits is “High Up On High.” Jackie sings it in English. That is Scott's favorite song and can actually sing some of it. He will watch that over and over and over.

I bought a CD of Jackie's music. I didn't think Scott would like it where it is in Chinese. I was wrong. He knows Jackie's voice. I will pop that into the player in the car and Scott will clap his hands the whole ride. Before buying this CD, trips in the car were unbearable because Scott can't stand to be restrained in a car seat. Now, I look forward to going places with Scott in the car.

Scott has 4 therapists that work with him. They are: Speech, Occupational, Physical, and Developmental. They are all amazed at the wonderful progress Scott has made from a man on a TV screen. Scott's Speech therapist has in fact incorporated Jackie's movies into his therapy sessions, though I must add that Scott has picked up Jackie's accent through this. It is rather amusing at times. People that don't know me assume he was not born in the U.S. They will ask me if he was born in China. I just laugh and say, "No, he was not."

Scott has many challenges ahead of him and his therapy is very hard work, but he is doing much better every day and even wants to take Kung Fu like his hero, Jackie Chan.

A Grateful Mom.
Michele Tracy