February 18, 2011 by Marj Hatzell
So. About that show.
You know, THAT show? I don’t know that I want people to come here by googling it so I’m gonna link to it instead.
Here’s my take (In case you were dying to know. And I know you are all dying to know. Otherwise, why would you be here? It’s edge-of-the-seat kind of stuff around here, yo.):
I got through twenty minutes of it. That’s right. Twenty. As in ten plus ten. Four times five. Twenty minutes. Why? Because this show could have been so much more. SO MUCH MORE.
Here’s what it was:
- gloom and doom
- parents sobbing on television about how awful their life is
- not an accurate representation of how many parents feel
- more sensational and less informational
- a town hall debate that turned into school yard arguments, finger-pointing and blame laying.
- A showcase of people who were talking in circles
- an example of why more research needs to be done (highways? Vaccines? Who cares. How do I help my kid?)
What it wasn’t:
- informational to the point where it helped us gain understanding and acceptance
- an accurate portrayal of what a kid with autism can be
- a way to show the world that we aren’t all miserable and some of us are very proactive in helping our children
- calming parents’ fears
- a way to let the world know that autism isn’t a thing to be afraid of.
- A way to show them that, while challenging, is a life worth living.
I am very disappointed. I had so many issues with it, just in the first few minutes. The sad, melancholy music. The weeping mother and father. The kid doing stereotypical behaviors and crying. Where were the hugs and kisses? Where were the laughs? Where were the kids like mine, jumping on the trampoline without a care in the world? THOSE KIDS EXIST.
I take issue that they said it was, “A parent’s worst nightmare.” Um. Hello? I don’t know about you, but my kid is ALIVE. A parent’s worst nightmare is a terminally ill or dead child, not autism. Autism is not a death sentence! Yet that promotion of fear in autism still exists. And it makes me sad. Because these kids are inherently amazing, exquisitely beautiful. And Dr. Oz (darn, now the googlers will get here) had an opportunity to show the world that our kids are misunderstood. They HAVE an “emotional foundation”, Dr. Oz. They CAN feel. They may not do it like everyone else, but our kids are very special. You totally missed the mark in the name of ratings.
I’m not here to gloss over anything. I’ve never, ever professed that this is an easy life. I never said it was sunshine and rainbows. But I’ll be darned if I’m going to have another ignorant, ill-educated person watch a show like that and react to it and treat us with pity. UGH. Don’t need it. We’re happy, thankyouverymuch. And we’re never bored.