Fidgety Fairy Tales

The Prince and the Pea

The Prince and the Pea

Topic

Prince and the Pea websiteAutism Spectrum Disorders

While ASD covers a wide range of symptoms, this story focuses on these common characteristics:

  • Preoccupation with one or two subjects or activities
  • Rigidity around routines
  • Hypersensitivity

Message that Builds Empathy

Even though someone may do things a little differently, they can still make a great friend.

This story also demystifies the idea of someone needing a Personal Care Assistant.

Synopsis

Prince Earnest is lonely because the Queen will only let him be friends with a true prince.  Prince Frank of Asperg arrives with his aide, Petunia Caroline Anderson (PCA for short).  Prince Frank has autism and is travelling the world to learn everything he can about horses.  Frank and Earnest quickly become friends.

The Queen doesn’t believe that Frank is true prince, and so she tests him by putting a teeny, tiny pea under twenty mattresses.  Prince Frank is hypersensitive.  When he climbs up on the mattresses, the pea feels like a rock to him.  Even though Frank has already passed the test, Earnest sticks up for his friend.

Script Excerpt

PRINCE EARNEST
Frank is a prince?  He doesn’t seem like the other princes I’ve met.

HERALD
(blows horn) Prince Frank has Autism.  One of the symptoms of Autism is having difficulty knowing how to talk to other people.

PETUNIA CAROLINE ANDERSON
Yes, Prince Frank of Asperg is definitely unique.  We’ve been traveling to different kingdoms so he can learn everything he can about horses.  He wants to write a horse encyclopedia someday.  And the way he remembers things, I bet he’ll do it, too.

HERALD
(blows horn) Some people with Autism get really, really interested in one thing like trains, dinosaurs, or in Prince Frank’s case, horses.

PETUNIA CAROLINE ANDERSON
My name is Petunia Caroline Anderson, but you can call me PCA for short.  I take care of Frank wherever he goes.

(Prince Frank enters.)

PRINCE FRANK
My hands are clean.  I feel better.

PETUNIA CAROLINE ANDERSON
Why don’t you say hello?

PRINCE FRANK
Hello.

PRINCE EARNEST
Hello!

PRINCE FRANK
Did you know that a type of horse form Russia called Akhal-Teke can go for days without food or water?  I know a lot about horses.  What time is it?

PRINCE EARNEST
Nine twenty-five.

PRINCE FRANK
I have to get ready for bed now.  I always go to bed at exactly nine thirty.

PRINCE EARNEST
You can sleep in the guest room.  Servants!