I wrote about the show Parenthood, when it first came on. Now, several shows into this new series, and I am still watching it. Adam (Peter Krause, “Six Feet Under”), the oldest Braverman sibling, and his wife Kristina (Monica Potter, “Trust Me”) are adjusting well with their son Max (Max Burkholder, “Brother and Sisters”), who was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.
In last night’s episode, Adam’s father, Zeek (Craig T. Nelson, “Family Stone,” “Coach”), moves in with the family. It was interesting to watch the dynamics between father/son, and grandfather/grandson. One very poignant scene was when Craig T. Nelson’s character describes what it s like living with his son’s family. He said that Max ruled the house.
It was obvious that he didn’t approve. Here is a man that was used to having everything revolve around him. He was in charge of the household when his kids were growing up. Now, he is in his son’s house, and their schedule and lives revolve around Max. Then he saw what happens when the schedule is disrupted. He realized how important predictability can be for a child on the spectrum.
For an outsider to come into a home with an autistic child, it could be like walking into another world. Face it, we do a lot of adjusting for our child. It gets to the point that it is easier for the family to do that. Then, over time, it becomes natural. Seeing things from the grandfather’s point of view, reminded me why my parents sometimes have a difficult time watching my son. Especially, since my son is nonverbal. When he is upset, he has an extremely difficult time communicating with his communication device. I try to make sure my parents know all of his triggers, but I always miss a few or they forget.
I think the writers are doing a great job with this show. I believe that the more people that watch it, the more they will understand what our lives are like. So, if you are not watching this show, DO SO.