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Comforting Media

I have heard several times from other autistic people about the media they enjoy. Especially when it comes to media aimed at children. Most of the time this will be animated, or something with a more straightforward story.

Firstly I don’t understand this view, because my first thought is these shows and movies were created by adults. Plus you also have to consider sensory needs for each person.

Animations and family focused media tend to be more guided. Not just story but also when it comes to music, and setting the mood in general. Plus an autistic person may be seeing something under the surface, or a character they understand in more personal way.

As a rule there is more emphasis put into vocal acting too, which can help show emotions clearer. Especially as they can be regulated, and appear in a different way in a neurotypical person from a neurodivergent one. Finally there are audible and visual triggers, in every day life due to sensory processing limits. In media that is created for younger viewers, there are either triggers for your senses, or there aren't. It can be a lot easier to predict what you can view, before you watch it.

Media that is aimed at younger age groups can also be comforting. The reason behind it is because you can revisit things you watched as a child and feel, exactly, what you felt then. The emotional responses are tied to the memories. Personally I loved Ghostbusters, Garfield and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a child but I still enjoy them now. I interact with them, often in different ways, switching The Real Ghostbusters for Ghostbusters Afterlife, or a Garfield movie ... instead of the comic strip. Possibly by getting a collectible figure that becomes a constant reminder, in my environment.

They feel like a warm blanket, a reassuring memory of joy and comfort. That you can surround yourself with whenever you need to. That’s why my collectibles are important to me, not for the monetary value, but the emotional connection.

All our best and love

Ross Fraser and Jeni Dern 

Words – Ross A Fraser

Graphic Design App – Canva 

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31 mag 2023

Today we discuss family friendly media, and all the different reasons why autistic, as well as neurodivergent people in general, may find it more enjoyable regardless of age.

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