“Parenthood” breaking down the autism-awareness barrier

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It’s really easy to categorize people with differences, like, ‘Everybody who has Asperger’s is like this, so they must all be into this, they must all act like this, but it’s not as much about playing someone with Asperger’s; it’s about playing Max Braverman.” – Max Burkholder

I don’t actually watch the show Parenthood, but I do know what it’s like to have a family member with a neurological disorder that can make everyday living and socializing a living hell; my cousin has Tourette’s syndrome, and not the mild kind. My cousin (whose symptoms gradually got better as he got older) would have full-blown involuntary body tics, uncontrollable screeches and coprolalia, which is the involuntary uttering or yelling of profanities. Particularly with his vocalizations, my cousin would withdraw into himself, after frequently being ridiculed or scolded, especially by adults and teachers (kids were actually much more accepting and understanding-most of the time). Once, at the amusement park Lake Compounce, a man started yelling at my cousin, who had just used some curse word and was very young at the time. The ensuing rant the man received from my aunt was epic. My family and some of my cousin’s friends even had shirts made up telling anyone who would care to read that my cousin had Tourette’s, and explained what it was. So, I am very happy and excited that a show got a huge audience to understand what it is like for someone considered “different” to live, and what they go through on a daily basis, and I hope that future television shows and movies and other means of digital and social media can help people understood other disorders, and to embrace those who do have these disorders.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/emilyorley/how-parenthood-broke-down-the-autism-awareness-barrier#h7ze7o –> authored by Emily Orley

by Amanda Sanchioni

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