I love to junk-out on TV. That doesn't mean I actually get to watch mainly due to the fact we don't own a television. Like many other families with kids on the spectrum, we gave away our T.V. after we caught two year old, Tristan watching static. I guess now not owning a tube doesn't stop you from watching shows online which I do a few times a week, but I do find myself having to schedule and prioritize.
Last night I found myself watching Parenthood once again. Parenthood entertains and keeps me coming back week after week. At first I wanted to see how the writers and actors would incorporate the Aspie character, Max, but now Parenthood draws me into the drama of the relationships and struggles families face.
Sure, Parenthood is a Hollywood version of real life and always seems to end the hour on an upbeat. Like last episode when Max received his first home behavioral services and by the end of the show Max had his first play interaction. Not so realistic, but at least the mainstream gets a glimpse of the challenges and joys faced by a family affected by ASD.
Frankly, the most misleading part was in the second episode when Max, who is highly functioning, was asked to leave public school and the parents agreed. First Parenthood sent a message to their viewers that parents are suddenly able to enroll their child in a private school and that they were able to dig up the money to pay. But, the most disturbing part of the story line is that the writers erased the last thirty years of special education law that clearly states that all students are entitled to an education even if the school district must make accommodations.
Instead of portraying parents working with their public school to create an educational environment conducive to learning for their child with ASD, the writers took the bland way out. Often advocating for your child within the public school offers some great stories that the Parenthood writers could have pulled from. Perhaps the writing staff should call some parents with kids on the spectrum to see what everyday life is really like for families.
With that said I guess I will sit down tonight and watch this week's episode and I am sure I will be entertained.