I watched the much anticipated episode of "Parenthood" about a child with Asperger. And I must say, I wasn't too disappointed. Regardless of how it was being said, the fact that this disorder was being dealt on T.V. was amazingly satisfying.
In this episode, the father was portrayed as someone who couldn't come to terms with his son's disorder. His actions brought back the flurry of bad memories for me. When I told others about my son's disorder, I was confronted with arguments that his condition was a personality trait or a flaw. They strongly believed the kids are being labeled with a nonexistent disorder. Come on, we've all had one like that in our family or friends.
After a while, I found that you shouldn't waste your time on trying to convince them. But what I did tell them to keep that skepticism and the attitude to themselves in front of me or my son. Okay, back to the show. For me, the most touching part was the boy's question.
"Will I always have it?"
His parents' answer/reaction, I'm sure, was felt by all of us.
I never really sat down to have that conversation with my son when he was diagnosed at 10. I thought he was too young and didn't want him to think the diagnose was the end of the world. Perhaps I was wrong or too afraid.
But since the bullying incident, I had to go into more detail about the disorder. I gathered the information and got him to read more books. It has made a lot of difference because there were things he found he could relate to, and also found things he had overcome. He felt less insecure about having the disorder and had some discussions with some of his friends.
Whatever qualms about how the topic is being handled in the show, or how the parents were portrayed, I am very happy it is being discussed on national T.V. at all!