When I’ve had a long day, there are one of two things I’ll watch to relax before bed. I’ll either watch crochet videos, or I’ll watch people wash cars. Turns out, the latter of those two options actually plays an important role in relaxing children with autism.
This great story comes from Jil McIntosh over at Driving.ca, who chatted to Clint Baker of Reviews by Vince, a YouTube channel that has amassed millions of views on its videos of automatic car washes. Baker started the channel for his son. Here’s a little snippet from the story:
“My son’s autistic, and ever since he was really little, he’s just had a real thing for car washes,” Baker said. “He started watching them on YouTube all the time. I typically go through a lot of car washes anyway, so I decided I would start recording. I’d save them on a USB so he could watch them whenever he wanted, but he kept going to YouTube, so I said, why don’t I start up a YouTube channel and he could see it there.”
“It’s still mind-boggling to me that this many people are interested in car washes,” Baker said. “A good majority of my subscribers are people on the spectrum, who have autism, and they talk to me about it. I don’t know if it’s the moving parts, but my son can watch doors that automatically open or close for hours.
“I get a lot of comments from parents of the kids watching my video, and they say, ‘Thank you so much.’ A mother reached out and said she had a two-year-old who’s autistic and ‘all he watches is your videos.’” Baker asked his name, and gave him a shout-out when he filmed the next one. “Then I got his grandparents saying thanks, that it meant the world to him. It just makes your heart melt.”
Autism is generally diagnosed in folks who have difficulty with social interaction and who engage in repetitive behaviors. That latter symptom can manifest in plenty of different ways, including verbal repetition of certain words, physical repetition of movements, and the repetition of comforting items, like watching a favorite movie time and again.
I don’t know many people who aren’t soothed by rolling through an automatic car wash, but Reviews by Vince has been an especially great tool for folks with autism because it provides comfort, consistency, and satisfaction. The process of going through different car washes is often pretty similar, but those different washes might produce dramatically different videos depending on the process.
So, the next time you’re going through the car wash, think about filming a video. You might just help make someone’s day.