Adam” this weekend. We debated renting it for months. Do we really need to see a movie about Autism? We live it every day. Wouldn’t seeing yet another story of Autism being played out for the sake of entertainment be a form of cruel and unusual punishment for parents who have a permanent home on this roller coaster. For whatever reason I rolled the dice and rented the movie. We let it sit on top of our dvd player for an entire week. I guess neither of us were sure we were up for it.
Practicality won out and on the day the movie was due back, we watched it. Scott teared up within minutes. I felt my heart strings get tugged in twenty different directions. You can’t help but compare the main character to “your person” with Autism. The main character, Adam, is said to have Aspergers (a high functioning form of Autism). As I watched his daily struggle, the things that he did to cope with this world, I felt mixed emotions. His reaction to his father dying was hard to watch. Observing him living alone, glued to his same routines day in and day out, was hard to watch. But there is hope infused throughout the movie as well. I don’t know if I buy the romantic relationship plot. The idea that someone would be so patient with and dedicated to someone they don’t have a genetic tie with is hard to buy. I hope and dream that Max will reach a point where he can know love and be able to experience a romantic relationship. I am not sure that is a realistic thing to expect though.
The parts that rang true were Adam’s love of being out in nature. Him taking everything 100% literally. Him not being able to handle change. His black and white perspective. His candor and honesty. Most of all, how hard he worked to understand NTs. That’s neurotypicals, for all you folks who don’t live in the spectrum world. The part where he bangs his head on the mirror out of frustration broke my heart as this is something I can see Max doing. And when he has the meltdown when he finds out his girlfriend has “lied” to him, and he scares her, that hit home a million times over. As Max grows bigger and stronger, I worry about how I will be able to manage him once he towers over me. Most of all, I worry about what would happen to Max if Scott and I were not here to care for him.
Would I recommend this movie? Sure. It’s pretty good. If you want to see an even better movie, a more realistic movie, I’d recommend the Temple Grandin movie starring Claire Danes. If you want to know what a person with Autism is really like, you should probably just go spend some time with a person on the spectrum. Seriously, come on over. But bring me a coffee, would you?