Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

The Whole Story

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

The Whole Story

Article excerpt

This is the story of autism that we need to hear, not just the young adult with autism that is a surgeon ... We need to hear the whole story, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me if I had seen the new show on television entitled The Good Doctor. I told them I hadn't since I don't watch too much television anymore, unless it's pre-recorded on my DVR. In my old age, if I see another commercial on what drug I should consult my doctor about or another low budget local commercial on where to buy my next pair of shoes, I just might ban television all together in my house. I don't know, but I'm sure I have a little smirk on my face as I fast forward through all the senseless commercials while I enjoy my previously taped show. As I firmly hold my thumb on the fast forward button, I'm thinking I've outsmarted every overpaid marketing exec who is trying to tell me what to buy or how sick I really am. Just maybe.

I went home to do a little research on The Good Doctor to see what all the hype was and why my friend would assume I would be a shoo-in to have it on my DVR list. After researching it, I realized why my friend almost tripped while running over to me to ask me about it. The show is about someone with autism who is an up and coming surgeon. Since I have a son with autism, my friend's thought was that I would be anticipating the new series. As I read the reviews, many of them were very complimentary, but then I read a comment that shared my sentiments, "What about the others?" When the mother of a child with autism typed in response to this series asking about the others, she meant, "What about the individuals on the autism spectrum that will never be doctors?" She went on to explain her frustration and I could see why she was expressing the fact that these shows that are meant to spread awareness about autism are only spreading awareness about the view of autism that doesn't make people uncomfortable. We need a stronger effort towards understanding the entire spectrum and what that really looks like.

Don't get me wrong. I don't stick my nose up to every movie that involves a character with autism. That's not the message I'm trying to send. I love The Accountant and I've watched it several times. I did watch it more than once and it wasn't because the handsome Ben Affleck was the main character. …

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