23 October 2014

Open Letter to Stampylonghead From a Special Needs Mom

special needs, videos help, stampylonghead helps special needs kids
One of many fan memes I found - I'd add an apostrophe if I could.

Dear Stampylonghead,

I first thought you were a video game called Stampylonglegs but now that I've gotten to know you better through my son I get it (and your proper name). You are a person who talks about Minecraft while playing it on YouTube videos.

You're a rockstar in this house, though and I think you should know about the life you've touched with your videos.

Our son Tristan has special needs. He has SPD (sensory processing disorder) and is undiagnosed with possibly autism, anxiety or ____. We don't know yet but he is very much a puzzle piece. He can't communicate much or answer most questions.

Last August he found your YouTube Channel, and a new part of him opened up. He plays games on his Kindle but all of a sudden was wound up in videos of Minecraft (those have to be watched on the laptop). In September he started going to preschool at a special needs school. When he came my husband was there with me as he got off the bus. He told us "friends" "bus" "no push friends" and then ran for his Kindle. He held it up to Papa and said "STAMPY?"

You see, he'd been wanting Minecraft but he's only three and we didn't think he'd understand. I told him that maybe if he asked Papa he'd get it for him after his first day of school - and he remembered.

Papa got him the game that has never been called Minecraft here. Just Stampy...and he understands it! ...in his own way.

He runs through his worlds lost in deep thought. Other times he narrates what he's doing with 'stampy'. "Yes, Stampylonghead...[and then I can't understand], that's right".

Whatever it is about your videos, your voice, your inflection when you speak. you've reached him. I don't doubt that you've reached many children (with or without special needs). But the thing about it is...do you know how special that is? Do you know how much we appreciate you? I don't know what you look like or how to play Minecraft but he shows me sometimes. He asked for your firetruck video the other day and explained as best he could along with you.

Tristan wants to be a firefighter. He doesn't know that he was born prematurely (at 30 weeks) and lived in NICU for two months. Our house had burned down and my body couldn't hold up to the stress (my cats were lost along with everything we owned). Maybe some part of him knows, though, because during his rounds in a firefighter costume he told me "reshoo people an cats."

I think you also make a cake in that video which is his favorite food other than pizza.

My husband plays games with him. I've let that be their thing together. I'm more of a Limbo-girl anyway. I had seen Minecraft things at ComicCon in the past never thinking it would become such an intricate piece to unlocking my son's thoughts. How could I especially because I don't think it's the game alone - it's equal (if not more) the life you have given to it.

The voice.

I don't know anything else about you; what you look like, what got you into making videos, or what your favorite food is, but I do know you change lives. Maybe that's something you didn't know. You are loved by many that's for sure (hello meme/fanart!)...but this is deeper. You've reached a place in my son's brain that most things and people can't get to.

We thank you for that...with all of our hearts.

Tristan is at school right now but he'll be home in a bit, asking for Stampy and showing us how creepers and zombies walk. That's really funny to watch him mimic but you can't laugh because Stampylonghead is to be taken seriously.

Stephanie and Brandon

1 comment :

  1. So I guess that I know what I'll be doing tonight when I get into bed...watching these videos and hoping that its something that my monkey likes. Thanks for this and so glad that T has found something that he absolutely loves!


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