Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Thanks to Rain Man

It's past midnight and I can't sleep without writing an entry about what I felt after watching Rain Man (after 22 years) tonight on HBO.

I remember when I first saw the movie Rain Man 1988 (I was 15 then), I instantly declared it as one of my most favorite movies. Not only because Tom Cruise was such eye candy back then, but the movie struck a chord in me. It opened my heart to people with mental/behavioral disabilities ans saw that they have as much potential as anyone if guided by those who genuinely care for their welfare.

My son Kyle is 12 and he has Asperger's Syndrome (AS). He's an Aspie, as doctors will say so. It's in the spectrum of Autism but it is one wherein the individual is high-functioning. Even with AS, he can live, grow up, study, graduate, fall in love, get married and have children. He may seem uninterested and bored when he addresses you but it's only because he can't stand eye contact, especially when meeting new people. Aspie's speak in monotone. I think this is because they do not have the full capacity to understand other people's feelings and they find it difficult to express their own. They are innately incapable of small talk or flattery or lying. This is because they are more interested in the truth found in facts and do not have the desire or willingness to please others with meaningless chit chat.

As I was watching Rain Man tonight, I felt thankful that through this movie, autism was put on spotlight. In 2005 Josh Hartnett and Radha Mitchell starred in Mozart and the Whale, a story based on the life of a married couple with AS. And recently the movie Adam starring Hugh Dancy (Shopaholic) and Rose Byrne (Damages), which was a story about Adam, an aspie, and his journey to become independent when his father died.

All the attention these films has brought, benefited all aspies everywhere. Because of these movies, awareness for AS has grown, and hopefully, aspies can go on living like "normal" people do.

Thanks, Rainman.

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