Friday, September 26, 2014

Parenthood (TV Show) and Autism

Parenthood is one of my favorite TV shows. It has several of my favorite actors on it, and it portrays something close to my own heart.... autism.

If you've watched the show, you know Max Burkholder portrays a character (Max Braverman) with Asperger Syndrome. The first time I saw it, I was sure that the actor also had Asperger Syndrome. I soon found out that Max Burkholder was not, in fact, on the spectrum. I searched again and again, thinking the reports must be wrong, he was portraying Max so well. I have worked with kids on the spectrum for years, and I was seeing exactly the same attributes in this performance.

I do not have a child on the spectrum, but I feel that Parenthood portrays the struggles that families with autism face. Sometimes I feel like the Bravermans have the worst luck ever (does anything go as planned on this show?), but I know families really do have many stressful factors in their lives.

Last season, season five, was emotionally hard. Max wanted to fit in, and went on a school trip with his classmates. His parents had to pick him up several hours later after being bullied by his peers. He didn't understand why everyone was so mean, even his best friend from years ago. How hard would it be to be in his situation or his parents? I may never know, but many parents do, including many of our readers.

Season six started this past Thursday. I am excited to see where the Bravermans take us next!

Emily Orley wrote a post titled "How 'Parenthood' Broke Down the Autism Awareness Barrier", which got me excited about the start of the new season. Check out the post here.


Shelly loves when her students use kid logic to determine why the beach smells bad....stinky feet of course!

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