Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Adam, I See You

This turned out to be a family movie weekend. We all watched Adam, about the young man with Asperger’s Syndrome making his way in the world after his father’s death. It was very touching, and with a good deal of humor thrown in. Both my son and daughter laughed out loud at certain parts. While I saw some of my son in the title character, Adam clearly had bigger obstacles to overcome. My son seems more grounded than the title character and does not have the temper swings that Adam fought to control; but he is sometimes overwhelmed by activity and emotion, and might seek solitude for a brief period. Nor does my son obsess on any particular subject, a trait seen in many of those on the autism spectrum. On the other hand, there is a bit of Adam in him. For example, seeing someone struggling with a heavy or awkward load, he might not think to say “do you need a hand?” He is sometimes unsure of how much or how little to say about things that are personal, or that some people might consider private. The one toss of a coin was Adam’s comment that “interviews usually don’t go well.” Although he does not volunteer information, and sometimes struggles with the back-and-forth nature of conversation, my son can be very well spoken in some settings.

The other movie we saw together was the James Cameron epic, Avatar. We loved it, by the way. Without going into detail, it is the story of a human-like people on a distant planet trying to live their lives in peace, and in harmony with their nature. These people, the Na’vi, have a way of knowing each other and each creature intimately; and – when they achieve that intimate knowledge – they say “I see you.” This “I see you” is not only the look and appearance, but the knowledge of someone’s essence.

My son is very different than Adam; but Adam, I see you.

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