16 March 2008

After Thomas

I finally got round to watching this film which was on TV recently. It's about a family who have an autistic son and how a dog called Thomas helps break through the barriers between worlds. I don't usually watch this kind of thing as the portrayal of autistic family life is seldom even remotely acurate or even ball park. All that happens is I get cross and shout at the telly - like that's going to make any difference! Sorry, I digress.

Watching After Thomas I was pleasantly surprised to see the accuracy of tantrums, the dreaded shoe run, the reaction of by-standers - or should that be gaupers? It was all so familiar. Even down to the reactions of extended family members. I laughed, I (almost) cried, I truely identified with the mum character played by Keely Hawes. One of the best lines which I hope to remember should the occasion warrent it was
(by stander with daughter age about 11) "Disgusting behaviour!"
mum's response "What? All this lot staring at a disabled child? Yes it is disgusting"
Beats my response to "Can't you control your child?" of "No can you?"

Got any good ones I can add to my repertoire?


Clare said...

Yes it's really good and there is a book of their story to which goes a bit further on in time-his sister has autism to but more mild. It's called a friend like henry by nuala Gardner

My boys are Army Brats said...

My oldest son has Sensory Integration Disorder and we have a lot of similar troubles to autism but on a very high functioning level. I hate feeling like I have to explain that my son is a special needs child and the lights are just too bright for him, or there are too many people in his space, or it's too loud in here or he hates for people to touch him, etc. I wish people could just see a child having a meltdown and say, bless your little hearts and be on their way without assuming I'm a horrible mom with no control or that my kids are terrors.

We were at the hospital one day and (we're military) a drill sergeant started yelling at one of the Privates and my little guy just clung right on to me terrified and the Drill Sgt turned and said I'm sorry about that and I said that's okay you just scared the hell out of my spson" because some soldier gave you a dirty look and now it's going to take days to get him back to himself, no big deal, go on your way.