Yesterday, after getting some important work done, I was feeling pretty rough. My wife took the kids with her siblings to the park, and left me and the dog at home so I could rest and relax. Well, I thought it the perfect time to turn on a show that I've been meaning to watch for a long time now: Parenthood.
I downloaded the pilot episode from iTunes for free. I've watched one episode before, after hearing that one of the kids was supposed to be diagnosed with Aspergers. I thought I would give it a try and see what the show portrayed, and how accurate it was.
I was blown away. The opening scene was of a father trying to get his morning workout in, and all of a sudden his family, one by one, call him for advice and help. One was his wife who couldn't get their youngest son to get into his baseball uniform for the big game.
As the show progressed, the son's little quirks started showing, with him wanting to wear a pirate suit, getting frustrated easily, and having trouble with his coordination. He was just not a "regular boy", and was slowly being identified as such. The Elementary school expelled him for biting another kid (who had called him a freak), and recommended him to an educational therapist.
The heart-wrenching thing was when they found out that he had Aspergers. He couldn't believe it, and she just begged him to not leave her alone in this. Then, right after he found out, the rest of the family started dumping issues on him. It was a very telling episode, one with which every parent can relate, particularly those whose children have autism.
So, if you ever want to know what it's like at that moment to know that your child has autism, I highly recommend watching Parenthood's pilot episode. I fell in love with that first episode, even though it brought back a lot from when our oldest was diagnosed.