3.01.2011

The Show Parenthood


I watched the show Parenthood tonight that has a little boy play an Asperger's kiddo. I was curious to see how accurate he would be portrayed. I have to say they did a pretty good job.

Tonight they featured the parents talking to him about the disability. I thought they went about it in a really good way. You can tell the writers have done their research. The boy's little meltdowns over simple things were just as unpredictable as Zane's. Only in real life people in public actually stop and stare at you because it just looks like you have a bratty kid you are failing to control. On the show the people in public kept walking and didn't notice- it was no big deal. That part was not so realistic.

I think the boy does a decent job, but for Zane there are a lot more odd facial expressions and voice tone changes and random noises happening when he is distracted or not listening. I think that would add to the reality of the character- the kid in the show seems more bored/ depressed than autistic to me. But it's a show and on the 'spectrum' I guess you can give or take a million variations of such characteristics.

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I loved the way the parents provided the specific-to-him positives and the less desireables that are associated with him because of Asperger's. I have only briefly outlined some of the positives so far with Zane. But this episode has me thinking it might be a good time for Mike and I to make a plan to talk to him about it soon.

The trick is: how do we really know he has an amazing memory or avoids looking new people in the eye because of Autism? I know those are common traits, but honestly it seems insane to tease out specifics and call it the disability. Although, I supposed he wouldn't be diagnosed if those were not the common bits of evidence that makes him unique with a word called Autism.

Do we have to call it anything? I guess he might want to know why he has OT and PT and Hab Therapies. All of which help remind him of the areas that don't come as natural to him (unlike other kids). That's probably important for him to understand. I suppose he might currently believe everyone has these appointments? And it's probably best he understand these things from us before other kids ask him questions or tell him things that confuse him.

This is the year we talk about it openly with him. This is the year he begins to understand. And I have never felt more unprepared, yet certain.
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