I have a person who is in love with reality shows. No, it isn't me. Though I don't mind a reality show here or there. My High Functioning Autistic son is totally into the reality. His particular brand of crack started with the Amazing Race.
The reasons I think he into these shows and why I let him watch.
1. People behave badly, incredibly badly, when they are stressed out . These reality shows definitely bring out the best and incredibly worst of people. I can't put my son in every stressful situation nor would I want to. But I can point out this is what happens when people are stressed out.
2. These reality shows make a good visual social story. Hey if you act this way, this will happen. If you aren't a good sport, karma does step in. See what it looks like when someone has a tantrum. How did that work for them? It is also an opportunity to point out what good teamwork looks like. This is an area that I think a lot of people struggle with.
3. Most misunderstandings really can be boiled down to a FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE. Autism at it's heart from every part of the spectrum is a communication problem. You go on an adventure race and you are going to discover if you can really communicate with your partner. I think the same can be said of relationships.
4. My son is vexed by the way people behave especially when their behavior doesn't fit his black and white thinking. The Amazing Race gives me the opportunity to point out the gray area .
5. The Amazing Race points out that you might be greatest athlete and still not do well. You can't be great at everything. There is also value in doing something you aren't good at.
I was inspired by Modern's Mrs Darcy's Post on The Spiritual Discipline of Project Runway and I also liked NPR's post on MasterChef Junior.