Planes, Trains and Automobiles

July 22, 2008 at 8:02 am 3 comments

     No, just trains, really. I don’t like to resort to the stereotypical, but C is obsessed with them. This seems to be a common link for many little boys with autism, to the point that one of the specialists we see joked that a love for Thomas the Tank Engine should be part of the diagnostic criteria.

     C’s first train set was a GeoTrax, which has been a wonderful toy for child and parents as well. Fun to build, we have spent countless hours creating enormous train track set-ups with this great toy. His collection of pieces and track is massive, mostly due to the fact that we used GeoTrax pieces as incentive for trying new foods. I would hold up the piece and talk about it while I unlocked it from its packaging. It was the perfect distraction in the attempt to keep C from throwing up the new food he was trying. GeoTrax turned out to be far cheaper and far more motivating than feeding therapy in the long run.

     But really, it’s all about Thomas, as any of you in the know, know. Thomas engines, Thomas track, Thomas “destinations,” Thomas underwear, swimsuits, alarm clocks, room decorations, birthday themes, video games, pajamas, videos, dishes, blankets, etc. It’s never ending, and it’s a marketer’s dream. I’d say Thomas’ branding rivals McDonald’s in its power over the preschool (um, and sometimes older) set. C can spot the Thomas logo from afar in the most crowded store aisle, and makes a beeline for anything he sees.

     Someone, somewhere, is getting quite rich off C’s love for Thomas. Now why didn’t think of it?

Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. goodmum  |  July 22, 2008 at 8:34 am

    Oh, we have quite the investment ourselves into the world of Thomas. Thankfully, our Little Man doesn’t much care for the show or the other merchandise. Phew!! Still though, it’s so freaking expensive!

    I can’t stand the show…it has all these antiquated sayings and things that C picks up and tries to use on other kids, who look at him like he’s from Mars. It IS expensive stuff. I once added up how much $$ we had in the Take Along engines, and it’s probably the budget of a small country somewhere. Yeech.

  • 2. Good Fountain  |  July 22, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    Is it bad that I say I’m glad I have a girl. LOL

    She’s never really been into any one thing obsessively except Baby Einstein stuff. And even that not nearly to the degree that it sounds like so many kids are into Thomas.

    We have a Thomas train set. It’s getting dusty…

    Do you wanna ship it to me??? 🙂

  • 3. nathan's mom  |  August 5, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Been there, still there! Nathan loves Thomas too & I KNOW we have the budget of a medium sized country in wooden trains & tracks. I found it hilarious that your dr suggested Thomas as part of the diagnostic criteria. Thanks for the giggle.

    It so FITS, doesn’t it? I cracked up when she said that too.


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It’s all autism, all the time.

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