Autism has been and remains an integral part of my life. I have an 8 year old son with autism who was diagnosed at 21 months and I myself was diagnosed years later with Asperger’s.
I have been watching Atypical and previously watched Parenthood which, obviously, both deal(t) with children on the autism spectrum. Parenthood was interesting since the character Max was not too far from Roger’s age. I recall one of the first episodes where Max would only wear his pirate costume to school. That, plus seeing his other quirks, I immediately knew the character would be diagnosed with autism. I have seen that rigidness in both Roger and myself. The show gave a perspective of autism that many other shows/movies lacked at that time. It was not a super power and it was not the all encompassing feature of the show. It was one dynamic of a family, just like it is in real life. Atypical which, clearly with that name, deals with a high schooler with autism. It shows his quirks and difficulties dealing with change. However, it also deals with normal teenage themes: dating, work, and college. It is almost a sneak peak of what may be to come.
Yes, my son has autism and I have Asperger’s but that only defines one part of our personalities and does not completely define us as individuals. It probably factored into some of our interests, our demeanor, our interactions, our relationships but it is not the be-all end-all. Day-to-day I tend to forget about Roger’s autism and may get a little impatient with the difficulty he has listening, focusing, following directions, helping around the house, finishing homework, getting dressed while spinning in circles, etc. I guess I need to slow down, maybe join in on the spin, and enjoy the dance together.