Fruit from the tree

September 9, 2009 at 8:07 pm 3 comments

     Husband and I went to see the movie Adam a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been struggling with what to say about it ever sense. The story is about a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome and his relationship with a young woman in his building. It’s a lovely story, really, full of poignant moments both sweet and sour.

     I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a movie that so profoundly affected me in so many ways. I laughed and cried. I experienced many emotions while watching the movie, from the desperate feeling that Husband and I can simply never, ever die to the peaceful feeling that maybe, just maybe, C will be okay.

     Ultimately, it was perhaps a glimpse into C’s future, and then I found myself distracted, wondering what the character of Adam would have been like at C’s age. While I expect C will never be as isolated as Adam was in the movie, I also realize that isolation isn’t always self-imposed. C’s enormous desire to be social often overpowers any sensory discomfort or anxiety he may feel, yet that desire does not necessarily translate into having friends. It was sobering to think about C as he is today and how the challenges he experiences now, both internal and external, might translate into adulthood.

     What I realize is that despite completely accepting C just where and how he is, somewhere in the back of my mind part of me continues to think he will grow into an adult that struggles far less than the child does. I’m not really sure why I think this, but it probably has something to do with everyone telling me it will be so. C has many gifts, and there seems to be universal belief among everyone who knows him that he will navigate the world quite well as an adult.

     Yet none of this has anything to do with wanting C to change, be cured, or be “fixed” enough to fit into the typical world as he grows up. I’m actually hoping by the time he gets there, the typical grown up world will be ready for him and meet him where he is instead.

Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Predator and prey Sometimes the sword beats the pen

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. therocchronicles  |  September 10, 2009 at 10:47 am

    I too hope what you hope! I find that I cannot look too far in the future because I just cannot picture it anymore. The Roc has changed sooo much in the past 2 years and has already surprised me so much that I can only glance in the direction of “the future” and then come back to the present. I hope.

  • 2. jlewicky  |  September 12, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    I so wish you both could have been to the last local Autism Society meeting with me. The presenter was inclusion expert Paula Kluth, and the topic was “We Thought You’d Never Ask! Voices From The Autism Spectrum.” To quote the promotional materials, “Kluth [discussed] the gap between the dominant discourse in autism and the stories of people on the spectrum themselves.”

    It was brilliant. It will be worth seeing the documentary of the same name. They showed some of it, adults/college students on the spectrum discussing what it is like to have autism, what they want us to know, and what they want to know. Incredible.

  • 3. robinaltman  |  September 13, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    I am strongly hoping that you’re right about the adult C having less trouble negotiating the social world than the child C. There are so many positive signs, plus my gut tells me that this is true. My gut is pretty darn trustworthy, I must say.


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