Menopausal mom to 2 young adult sons (one with ASD, ADHD, tic/seizure disorders and the other with attitude).

Monday, 16 January 2012

More than 2 Sides to a Story About Autism

There has been a lot in the media about the upcoming TV series “Touch” and the soon-to-be released movie “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”, both having characters with ASD but not about autism.  This will inevitably lead to a discussion somewhere about what is/isn’t an accurate portrayal of autism. 

At some point in the discussion the movie “Rain Man” will undoubtedly be brought up.  I went to see the movie when it came out back in 1988 and remember liking it.  I found it both intriguing and fascinating.  I’m sure some of you may be shaking your head about now wondering how I could possibly have liked such a movie.  Sure Rain Man may not represent an accurate picture of autism by today’s standards but hey…it’s fiction (“not fact”), was made well before any of my own personal experiences, and is over 23 years old!  I sometimes wonder what sceptics would deem to be an “accurate” portrayal of autism in a movie today??? 

Autism is such a wide spectrum with so many variables how could any one movie/TV series/character accurately depict autism?  Do we not want people to be more aware of autism and its uniqueness?  As it is sometimes said, “if you know one person with autism; you know one person with autism.”

In the last 5+ years or so “celebrities” have been coming forward with their own personal stories in order to bring attention to the challenges faced by so many families.  I’d like to think all this media attention (positive and/or negative) is helping to bring an awareness of autism to the forefront. 

So where am I going with this apparent “rant”?  *sigh*  No where.  I just found myself getting a little worked up today thinking how could I agree with one thing and in the next second agree with what appears to be the total opposite?!?  Can I be that easily persuaded?  Am I that gullible?  Don’t answer that.  I think I will go with “open-minded” and that there are a lot more sides to a story than two. 

Think about it…D


  1. I posted about Touch today too!!

    You're right, Dot, there are so many angles to consider when it comes to autism in entertainment. There are a lot of differing viewpoints.

    1. Hi Grace,

      Just read your post about Touch. Didn't realize we were both future exes of Kiefer & Robert. :D

      Like you, I cringe slightly at the "flavour of the month" diagnosis and hold my breath when seeing new shows/movies. A controversial subject for sure but at least people are trying.


  2. I loved the portrayal in ADAM, perhaps because it reminded me so much of my Aspie daughter...who later watched it on her own and also loved it. As you say, there is no one 'right' way to portray an ASD, but it's comforting when we do find a book/movie/show in which we can recognize something of a loved one. It's nice to know that the world is at least beginning to be interested.

    1. Absolutely! For me, being able to relate to a character or event in a movie is what makes it interesting and relatable. There are times though when I am just looking for pure entertainment and just want a little escape from reality...that's why I can't resist a good chick flick every so often. ;P