It's called "Atypical" and it's on Netflix. It's a funny, at times heart-wrenching, and often thoughtful portrayal of a family and most importantly, a young man, dealing with all the ups and downs of autism.
Now, it must be stated that people with autism have for too long been left out of the conversation regarding what's best for them. There are many on the autism spectrum that have found their voice or any other number of ways to communicate their preferences and needs, and they have been marginalized. This is bad, this is wrong, this is unnacceptable. We have to know that. However, it is not okay to villanize those who've attempted to bring autism to the collective conscience. There are many of us, (me, for example) that do not have autism and have an awful lot to say about it because we live it each day with those we love more than life itself.
If you are a self-advocate, I applaud you. And I remind you that there are many children and adults who've yet to find their form of communication and rely respectively on their families to help them navigate a particularly brutal world.
Both of the scenarios are okay. We do our best.
Some have said "Atypical" is just another stereotypical representation of "high-functioning" autism. (Which I agree is represented far more than any other form of autism).
However, the facts remain that there are many who live in that stereotypical world of literal thinkers, high-anxiety, and constant social confusion. There are families and loved one trying desperately to connect and learn forms of communication they never imagined in order to reach each other. There are children and adults who will watch and relate and laugh and cry and that's amazing.
Netflix's show "Atypical" is important. It might not reflect your particular experience, but I can assure you it represents the experiences of many. And most importantly, it continues a discourse that is pretty crucial to someone I love very much.
It's okay to laugh at yourself. Even if you have autism. It's okay to laugh at yourself, even if you're a dad who is trying to reach your boy with autism. It's okay to laugh at yourself, even if you are just learning about autism.
Now, that I've said my piece, I think I'll do a little bingeing; both on my new favourite Netflix show and on the junk food they sent me to enjoy while I watch it.
Don't hate me because you ain't me.
A mom like you.
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