At Communication Therapy we are proud and excited to announce the launch of the brand-new Flummox and Friends pilot episode this week! Our show was created, written, and produced by Christa Dahlstrom, parent of an 8-year old son with Asperger’s, and co-created by Communication Therapy speech-language pathologists Liesl Wenzke-Hartmann and Jordan Sadler. It was designed to be a clever, live-action TV show for kids who could use some help learning about social rules and emotional regulation.
“What we love about Flummox and Friends is that it teaches kids WHY we care about social competence. Our message is not, ‘Look at others and listen to them just because we say so’, but rather, ‘When we listen to others and connect with their ideas as well as ours, other people feel good and understand that we are thinking about them and like them – that’s the basis of friendship,'” explains Sadler, MS, CCC-SLP from the Chicago office.
“There are products targeting social emotional teaching on the market,” explains Wenzke-Hartmann, MA, CCC-SLP, from the San Francisco office. “But it’s hard to find something that adults and children can really enjoy together. This show gives families kid-friendly language to demystify and normalize social challenges, showing that everyone is ‘flummoxed’ by social rules at one time or another.”
Funds to produce a pilot episode were raised ten months ago through a successful grassroots Kickstarter campaign. Now, just five days after launching online, Flummox and Friends has been viewed more than 2,000 times by extraordinarily enthusiastic parents, kids, adults with autism, teachers, and therapists who are hoping we will receive funding to create the entire series.
Please help ensure future episodes by following us on Facebook and Twitter and sharing the link to the show with your friends, colleagues, and families. Spreading the word is the best way to show potential investors that there is a strong desire and need for a teaching tool like this!
Here are just a few of the messages we’ve received from viewers this week:
I run a charity in Scotland supporting children with Autism and Aspergers Syndrome as well as being the mum of a 9 year with Aspergers, he absolutely loved the show and I am delighted to share this with the families we support! Well done!
My 9yo son just watched this and he LOVED it. He asked to watch the next one, which you have not made yet. So, he asked to watch the pilot again, but that will have to wait until after school today. He is still humming the tune from the show.
Great show! Very engaging and upbeat messages. Please continue to present more episodes, I am going to share your information with some of the school staff I work with at my son’s school. He is in the Autism program at his elementary school.
This is long overdue! Finally, someone is tapping into the fact that learning starts with empathy and self-awareness, not with the content. I really loved the pilot. I am already imagining ways of integrating this show in my classes, both as a teacher and a teacher trainer. I just wish there was a subtitles option! (Not all of my students speak English that well.) – Anjie Price, English teacher (Nicaragua) [Note: we will release a version with captioning in a few weeks! Watch our Facebook page for the announcement.]
To watch our acclaimed pilot episode, please visit our website. We would appreciate it if you would complete the brief survey on the website as well, and please download a Family Guide or Professional Guide pdf while you’re there, they are full of great activity suggestions and visuals for you!
Links to early reviews:
New TV Project Uses Comedy to Help Kids on – or Near – the Autism Spectrum by Laura Shumaker, SFGate blog
Flummox and Friends Premieres its Smart Social Competence Programming by Jean Winegardner, The Washington Times Communities
Flummox and Friends by Sean Sweeney, CCC/SLP, SpeechTechie blog
Flummox and Friends Video: Our New Favorite Thing by Amanda Backof, MS, CCC/SLP, Speech Language Neighborhood blog
Stay tuned here for future developments!