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Explaining That Mascots Are Not Real Animals

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Lorie L.B., Jul 22, 2019.

  1. Lorie L.B.

    Lorie L.B. New Member

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    Hello! My 17-year-old high-functioning autistic son absolutely LOVES the giant costume animals that he calls "mascots," no matter whether they are Loony Toon characters or those used by sports teams. Since he was little, he has been fascinated by them and has thought they are real, very large animals. It was cute then, but now I find myself feeling guilty for telling him "Yes, they're real" when he asks. I believe he is using this as a coping skill, but I am not sure how long this should go on. I tried to explain this to him months ago, and you would have thought someone had died, because he was so distraught. Is this unhealthy? If anyone has some insight on the situation, please share. Thanks!
     
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  2. Rexi

    Rexi owo uwu owo Weird&Unusual Atheist Science=<3

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    I had a friend on the spectrum who has dreamt of Odin and ever since he has started believing in the Norse Gods, every "sign" he would get "from them" would make his belief stronger.

    Would it help for your son to see real humans coming out of such suits, maybe in a video if not possible in reality? That might help. I think verbally guiding his focus on anti-signs may be helpful.

    But, let him grief for a while, he might make peace with the fact after a while. If he doesn't and you figure the grief is over, then you can try what I suggested.
     
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  3. Rexi

    Rexi owo uwu owo Weird&Unusual Atheist Science=<3

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    Are you sure you didn't misunderstand what he means?

    Sometimes real animals are used to play as a mascot, not necessarily people in costumes.

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    They are also mainly made to signify real animals, no unexisting/fantasy ones.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
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  4. zurb

    zurb Eschewer of Obfuscation

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    Maybe worth defining what you and he both mean by ‘real’.
    Yes, they are real in the sense they are physical people inside the physical costume. They can be touched, therefore they are real.
    Are they alive? The people are, the costumes aren’t. They have ‘life’ as long as the actors remain, just like puppets. If he’s comfortable with puppets, just call them big puppets and the puppeteer is inside. Maybe get him a basic puppet if he still can’t relate.
    He’ll need to face this reality as one day he’ll see someone getting in or out.
     
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  5. Lorie L.B.

    Lorie L.B. New Member

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    Yes, he says that they are real and no person is inside. This has developed over time. I believe his asking about there being a human inside is his way of not accepting the truth.
     
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  6. Lorie L.B.

    Lorie L.B. New Member

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    Thanks for your input.
     
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  7. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    Maybe you can arrange for him to meet one, that you have privately briefed on the back story. The mascot could perhaps offer your son a chance to try on the costume. What would be a traumatic situation otherwise, might instead be a fun occasion.
     
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  8. zurb

    zurb Eschewer of Obfuscation

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    Or take him to hire a costume?
     
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  9. BrokenBoy

    BrokenBoy 戯言使い(Nonsense User)

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    Yeah I had a similiar problem when I was a kid with reality.
     
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  10. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It sounds like you have already explained that they are not real. I think it is just a matter of time for him to process it. I would no longer agree to the misconception that they are real, but perhaps not make a big deal of it either. If he asks just say something matter of factly. One also might say it is ok to pretend they are real as long as you know inside that they really are not. You might also explain the people inside are also pretending to be the characters.
     
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  11. GrownupGirl

    GrownupGirl Tempermental Artist

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    Even when I was a kid I always knew mascots were just people in costumes and are just as fictional as the cartoon character they may be based on, like in Disneyland.
    Some people are terrified of costumed characters, even NT adults. And these all you hear about is how they're furries and they should all be euthanized*sigh*. I think mascots are really cool and they're the only real reason I have ever watched sports.
     
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  12. Dubz

    Dubz Member

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    Quit lying to your son. We tend to take things literally, especially from peeps we trust. He's 17. Time to move on ( I mean you not him). He would be smarter if you told him the truth. From the get go. Let go of the leash and let him undo his collar. We can free ourselves if you'd all let us.
     
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  13. Michael Balog

    Michael Balog Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I’m absolutely terrified of any type of costume or mascot, Halloween is the worst time of the year for me.
     
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