My son has autism, but, he most likely won't be a doctor.
There's a new TV show coming out called The Good Doctor, and it looks REALLY interesting. I love all shows that are doctor-ey like that. I enjoy watching the blood and gore of emergency, life or death, situations.
Okay, so I don't love that all that much, but it does keep me coming back for more. I loved Scrubs, Grey's Anatomy, that one with Hugh Laurie where he was a total dick, but really good at figuring weird shit out, in like, 45 minutes...seriously he was so bad ass at doing his doctor thing. He was also totes relatable because he was a Rx drug addict. So, there was that.
I get hooked on these shows super fast, so I'm betting that this show will be no different. I imagine there will be an extra level of curiosity on my part due to the fact that the main character has autism, supposedly. Depending on how it's depicted, it should be really good, and maybe a little emotional for me.
The thing I have issue with is this:
I think there's a common misconception about what the word autistic means. Sometimes people hear the word autism and think all people on the spectrum are like Rain Man or something...some genius...it's hard for them to understand that there are just regular kids out there who will most likely enjoy playing Minecraft in their parent's basements the rest of their lives. Autism doesn't mean they will be some genius who excels at some special skill like space or mathematics or surgically putting someone back together. Sometimes it means they have a really hard time accepting any form of change, even something as small as switching bedrooms, or the texture of their socks, or that their new shoes don't feel "tight enough".
A week ago, we had decided that the girls should be in one room, and the boys in another. This meant taking apart beds and putting the boys' bunkbeds in the smaller bedroom where Hannah currently was, simply because Hannah has a full sized bed and it takes up more room, obviously. It just made more sense.
Connor woke up and kept melting down left and right. At one point he hurt Caroline and I lost my cool. It was causing me to have my own anxiety because all I could do was think about all the things we might have to face once he gets older. I reacted by trying to flee the situation, and it ended very badly for me...
An expensive lesson now learned.
Connor struggles with adapting to change, but so does Hannah and so do I. Connor simply reacts by throwing things and being unable to communicate what he's feeling inside, so it comes out as a form of rage and it's terrifying as his mother to watch it unfold. I imagine what will happen if this happens to him in public as an adult...will he be arrested? Will he hurt himself or someone else? Will he be able to be "normal" and hold down a job?
I don't know the answers to any of these questions and some days I'm okay with that. Other days it's something that haunts my every thought to the point that I make myself sick. Connor is considered high functioning...that literally means nothing to me.
You wanna know why?
Because, sometimes someone hears the phrase "high functioning" and automatically assume that Connor should be better at handling things than a lower functioning person on the spectrum. I feel like it doesn't give him fair advantage because people make up their mind about him before truly understanding who he really is. They also assume that he can be "cured" at some point with extra therapy, which definitely can help him learn some coping skills, but Connor will always, ALWAYS, be autistic.
There are so many pluses to having a child like Connor. He's so funny, and he doesn't even try to be. He has come so far in 8 years, and I think back to when we first recognized that something wasn't quite right and that he might need more help...that WE might need more help. I kept having my fears and concerns swept under the rug by a doctor and yet, I kept fighting for him, which is something I'll never stop doing. For as long as I live, I'll advocate for Connor, and protect him. When family members berated me for saying he was autistic, when we didn't have the official diagnosis, I stood up for myself and Connor. I knew in my heart what my son was, and I was 100% okay with that.
I worry CONSTANTLY that I'm going to screw this up royally. All the time I fear that I'm not good enough for this job. It sucks sometimes and I feel very alone.
So, I am curious to see what this new show is about and how they portray people on the autism spectrum. It could be a positive thing for the ASD community, or it could just set us back more by giving people a continued skewed perception of what it means to be autistic.