October 23, 2012

Away we go!

When Hannah was about five or six she had a Disney Sing-Along-Songs video about going to Disneyland.   She loved all of the songs except one:  Grim Grinning Ghosts.  The Goofy and Donald characters were covered with sheets pretending to be ghosts.  They sang and danced in front of the Haunted Mansion.  She was terrified, even though the song was silly and playful.

I'm sure you know the definition of perseverance.  But are you familiar with the word "perseveration"?

per·sev·er·a·tion    (From the FreeDictionary)
1. Uncontrollable repetition of a particular response, such as a word, phrase, or gesture, despite the absence or cessation of a stimulus, usually caused by brain injury or other organic disorder.

2. The tendency to continue or repeat an act or activity after the cessation of the original stimulus.

Perseveration is frequently found in the OCD and Autism populations--an individual may become fixated on one topic and will not let it go.  It could be a focus on weather or washing machines, or computers...usually things that people generally don't want to hear about for great lengths of time.

Hannah doesn't have autism, but she has been quite absorbed with the Haunted Mansion for at least eight years. It's been a love/hate relationship.

She has read everything she can find about how the Haunted Mansion was created, how big it is, how scary it is, how many ghosts live there (she doesn't believe in ghosts), how the robots and trick movie projections are made....and on and on.  She's looked at numerous YouTube snippets of home movies of the Haunted Mansion (both DisneyLand and DisneyWorld), official advertising clips of the Haunted Mansion....and, well, you get the idea...

It's not a daily thing.  It's not even a weekly thing.   But we're tired of hearing about the Haunted Mansion.

The other week when Hannah was going through the NIH cognitive testing, one of the words was "mansion".  She had to define it.   She did a good job.   And then she went on....and on...and on...

The researcher was impressed, enough so to mention it during a break.  Dr. Lee said she quickly understood that Hannah was talking about one specific mansion...one with four columns, a creaky front porch...with tombstones in the yard....

This is a collector's edition of an out-of-date magazine which Hannah
 bought in San Francisco at the Disney Family Museum last year.

She knows the original concept plans for the DisneyLand Haunted Mansion and how the plans evolved into the actual ride.  She knows that the front of the Haunted Mansion is just a facade, that there is a warehouse behind it, covered with plants and spooky looking walls so nobody can see the warehouse which houses the ride.

She has a CD copy of Ron Howard in an audiotape of "The Story and Song From The Haunted Mansion"   recorded in 1969.  She can recite the entire story and song, complete with sound effects.

Hannah acting out the Haunted Mansion story on vacation in Mexico...

When we went to DisneyWorld 4+years ago we discussed actually going IN the Haunted Mansion.   She would have no part in that idea.   She didn't have the chance to change her mind because we were only there for half a day before she spend the rest of her time in the hospital with a stomach bug.

But now, she's ready.  She has a plan.  She's going to wear her noise-muffling ear phones.  She will take them off if she wants to.  She can close her eyes if she's too scared.  She'll be sitting right between her mom and dad.

Our plan is to get this over.   We're going to go around and around on that ride as long as it takes her to get her fill.  It's our primary destination.   We'll be taking tons of pictures and video so she can relive it.   And maybe, just maybe, we'll burn her out.  Keep your fingers crossed!

This evening we fly down to Florida.  Wish her luck!


Becca said...

Wow, good luck!! I'm so excited to hear how this turns out!! This could totally be the cure. LOL Btw, do you have the link to that NIH study? Is it still open?

Tracy said...

Hope you have a great trip to Disneyworld! I live an hour away from Orlando and can tell you that the weather has taken a turn for the better down here, so hopefully, you will have pleasant temps while you are here!

goldenleaves said...

So funny! My sister has always been that way with true crime stories. She reads all the books, watches all the shows, can tell you everything about them...but then can't sleep after watching or reading!

Anna said...

Orlando or Bust! Hope y'all have a blast!