Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Saw the movie Adam

Well, I could not wait and I went out and saw the movie Adam. It was an interesting movie though I was not overly enthused about it. However, there were some points that hit home. The man with Asperger's has a romantic relationship with an NT woman in the movie. This is something that society sometimes has prejudicial attitudes against. For example, David Miedzianik whom I have previously written about expresses his desire to have a girlfriend in his autobiography. Uta Frith in her book, Autism, Explaining the enigma, quotes what David says but adds the adjective 'normal' in front of girlfriend, a word that David never uses. It has to be remembered this is a movie and not real life. There are problems in this relationship and the two sometimes have conflicts. The Asperger's character also mentions certain celebrities having diagnoses of autism, which as many of my readers know, I have attempted to debunk. The girl's father also does not approve of the relationship due to the Asperger's character's sometimes poor social judgment. I wrote about a similar concept in a short story I wrote some years ago, Guess who Isn't coming to lunch. I can't help but think that maybe the screenwriter read my short story, but probably not. The short story was in part inspired by my friend Jerry Newport who in turn was one of the two people inspired by the other Asperger's love story, Mozart and the Whale. However, the two characters in Mozart and the Whale both had Asperger's and "Adam" deals with a mixed marriage type of relationship (though the two characters are not married). Also, the movie gives a shameless plug for Lianne Wiley's book "Pretending to be Normal" Though I have not read this book, it is yet another autism spectrum book that I don't feel has much to offer me. The author is a female (10 to 1 ratio of males to females among both AS and HFA), has a husband and children as well as a doctorate degree. This is someone who does not seem terribly impaired to me from what I know about her, so with memoirs like these, you really don't know how much a celibate, not successful, hardly ever gainfully employed autistic male fares or can get insights about them.

The character in the movie also had a pretty good job compared to most on the spectrum-electronics engineer. However, he is let go from this job and then his girlfriend gives him a book on getting employment for asperger's, which I think was another actual book that Jessica Kingsley published and not some fictional book for the movie. The being fired certainly hits home with me and I suspect some other persons on the spectrum as well. The character had disclosed his disability to the employer, so, at least in the movie, disclosure did not work. I don't believe it works too well in real life either.

I wonder if there will be other autism and asperger's movies. There probably will be someday but it seems that in proportion to the popularity of autism (as well as Asperger's) that has become pervasive there is a surprising dearth of them.

I am not sure I should say anything else about the movie as it would ruin it for anyone who might want to see it. I still wish that autism with a speech delay (which is what I had as a toddler) and Asperger's were treated as separate disorders in the DSM and in other places. Then Ari Ne'eman and the rest of the NDs who may have AS but never had a speech delay won't try to speak for me.

Well, not a complete waste of money and good part of an afternoon, but I guess you can go see the movie and judge for yourself.

15 comments:

farmwifetwo said...

"I still wish that autism with a speech delay (which is what I had as a toddler) and Asperger's were treated as separate disorders in the DSM and in other places. Then Ari Ne'eman and the rest of the NDs who may have AS but never had a speech delay won't try to speak for me."

So do I, Jonathon, so do I. My eldest had a speech delay and has gone from Mild PDD at 2.5 to NLD at nearly 10. Although I refused nearly a year ago to change his Dx from "a mild form of autism spectrum disorder" to NLD b/c I would have lost the OT services that we needed desperately and had finally gotten once more. Had we been able to keep the OT, it would have been done but without "autism" in the dx... no OT.

Having one (7.5) who on Tues had his Dx changed from Severe PDD-NOS to Autistic Disorder... They are not the same.... not even close and I will NEVER let the elder speak for the younger.

I asked the Child Psychiatrist on Tues whether or not the AS/NLD crowd would be pulled off in Version V... he shrugged... They (Ped, Child Psych's, my family Dr) are better informed than ASAN and it's ilk think... they know what's going on online. I wish at appts I had more time to discuss it with them... so, I just keep handing out my "epic" (27pg working paper against Federal bill C-360 ABA funding for all) for them to read.

I have no intentions of seeing the movie... but then again I rarely watch them so it's not b/c of the topic... I'd rather read a book.

S

Stephanie Lynn Keil said...

"It has to be remembered this is a movie and not real life. There are problems in this relationship and the two sometimes have conflicts."

Every couple has problems in their relationship, regardless of their "neurology."

And if "Adam" was fired simply because of disclosing his diagnosis and not because of poor work quality than that is grounds for a lawsuit: you can't get fired merely for disclosing a diagnosis.

My employer knew about my diagnosis and that wasn't why I was fired. I was fired because I was a horrible employee. And I was horrible because of my autism.

jonathan said...

Stephanie, Adam was not fired for disclosing his diagnosis but for other problems he had as an employee. I am not sure I should say anything else in case someone who happens to read this wants to see the movie.

Stephanie Lynn Keil said...

I see. Than that's different, isn't it?

I wasn't planning on seeing the movie.

I can only wonder if "Adam" got treatment for his disorder so that he could function better or not.

Roger Kulp said...

This being a movie about someone with Asperger's,I expected it to be a two hour neurodiversity preach-a-thon.From what you say,the topic of ND didn't even come up at all, which is somewhat of a surprise.

My other concern about this movie, which is still a valid one,is that it might give a lot of people the impression,that this is what all adults with autism are like,and that as such,it's not all that big a deal once the kids grow up.

Somebody like myself,who lives with their 80 year old mother,who has to struggle with immune,and metabolic problems,that trigger regression every few months,who still headbangs,and does all sorts of other extreme stimming,and is only able to talk slightly better than our friend "Droopy" is a little too disturbing to make a "feel good movie" about.Seventy years after Kanner,the public still isn't really ready for us.

I know,Johnathan.It was a big shock to me at first when I learned a lot of my own childhood diagnoses,like developmental delay,learning disabilities,and sensory disorders were not a core part of an autism diagnosis.You know I harbor a lot of resentment and animosity towards AS,and it's nothing personal towards anybody with an AS diagnosis,more towards the APA for lumping them all together.

As far as books about autism are concerned,you yet to mention Donna Williams' "Nobody Nowhere".

Jake Crosby said...

Jonathan, I highly doubt the definitive diagnosis of High Functioning Autism which would discern people like us who've had speech delays from people like Ari who probably did not would change who the NDs speak for, since they already speak for people much more severely impaired than we are.

Crystal said...

I want to watch this movie...

Droopy said...

Part 1
Yes! I agree entirely and have been saying all along they need to be two separate catagories, completely

I'm not sure that'll stop ND either since Aspergers and Autistic Disorder already ARE two separate entities (and Neurodiveristy just ignore and override all that, insisting on calling themselves "Autistic" 'cause its a spectrum' on a technicality etc), but somehow further separating them couldn't hurt.

Unfortunately there is talk that the powers that be actually intend to do the opposite and give Neurodiversity an unbridled unlicensed further claim on us by doing something like melding Autistic Disorrder and Asperger's Syndrome into one.

I really hate to get into the psychology mumbo jumbo namely because it sounds just like Neurodiversity to do this, but there's an exception to every rule:

Honestly if I had my way they'd be as removed from us as can be, they'd be suitably covered under one of the pre-existing 'personality disorders" (where truthfully most of them already are, a 'personality disorder with a dash of another personality disorder' thrown in such as say Narcisistic personality disorder with histrionic traits")

Mix and match as you choose, if you actually look in that book, Neurodiversity was already there, but these irresponsible professionals who really don't want to be badgered for the rest of their careers by some truly borderline personality type who's just come to 'gimme the Aspergers DX I want and I'll go away" gives it up, and now we have all this.

If they just think Autism is so grand and glorifying that they just HAVE to latch onto us, okayfine, give them (as of Schizoid and schizotypal weren't enough but hey they don't have AUTISTIC stamped on them)

then give these guys an "Autistic Personlity Disorder" all their own.

It can sit off completely apart from the real Autism (the one yes you have to be either born with or get before your 3 years old), sitting safely off entirely in a different section with all the OTHER personality disorders, and voila, you don't have to have acquired it at life's onset or early on, they're far from us and no longer on a 'spectrum' etc etc -- as mentioned I doubt it'd bring peace becasue these people just flat out lie and everything else anyway, but it'd make for one nice try.

I know that I'm considered low functioning compared to these Aspies and all, but here's something I don't say a lot

post too long, having to do two parts

Droopy said...

I feel that if Autism were restored to its proper meaning and definition and left alone (and get that nightmare of Aspergers away from us)

Jonothan Mitchell here, myself, Sue Rubin, Tito, Carly (14 year old seen on national TV who's real yet another valid person who's actually got a thing or two in common with me) Stepanie here and Kulp and whoever else

we'd, yes that includes me too, be considered High Functioning and the people who are REALLY losing out in ALL of this as it is right now might at least get back on the map

I really worry about people who are far worse off than I am and I make it a point to try to keep them in mind and commentary so they're not lost from everybody's mind except their parents.


I mean whats been done to me by Baggs sucks oceans worth of injustic

but it happened BECAUSE I AM as able as I am.. it was my 'reward' from Neurodiversity for developing typing skills, having a computer provided to me and seeing one at the "resource rooom at the gifted collect on campus (yes, the gifted have a 'resource room too, who knew?)

All the people who are far less able than I, all the people who continue to have troubles so that my autism looks even not greatly like their Autism, the people with no communication at all that we're all sitting here typing and being light years more able than, they're not even on the map.

Never do that to people who cant' communicate at all, never never, I cannot express the wrongness of this

My notion would at least get them back in the picture, until everybody's got their own voice we have to make sure they are present and acknowledged and that NONE of us is using the communication skills we have to just voice over them.

During the time I was talking to her in chats and second life, Amanda Baggs used to ask me endlessly about my experiences in institutions, (she was especially hot after the gory details and looking for me to describe some paranoid powerplay complex trips that I don't know, aren't seen in MR/DD places I've been, maybe her nuthouse stint) and thankfully I just.. dont go there much

but one of the better things that could be seen, and its not just in the places I have lived, sometimes you see it sheltered workshops and other places too, is the better off folks helping, looking out for and being protective of some of the other ones not so well off

well now now I feel its my job, our job (talking about people typing here, etc) to do that, we've got to guard and look out for them but without talking FOR them.

my diagnosis line-up plan certainly wouldn't be perfect to that end, but it'd certainly be closer than this mess we have now.

Droopy said...

Or better even still "Asperger's Personality Disorder" (though I doubt Neurodiversity would stand for it as it does not have the word "Autism" stamped about it anywhere) -- but again, the main point is no 'spectrum' -- not with them on it anyway -- with this, just move them entirely to another completely section of the book (the farther the better).

This way they can explain why they're so old before they get diagnosed (and the psychologists who just seem to go 'okay whatever shut up I'll write whatevr you want me to write just go away" might be able to slip in a little more reality along with it, and they can happily get letters that might read something like the following [with what really happened in brackets but not said]:

"I, Dr LazyBones, here by do state that its my esteemed opinion after spending 45 [miserable] minutes with the subject, Mr Nero D. Versity [and after being badgered by them about Autism and having symptoms recited to just like a hypochondriac drug seeker at an ER] that the subject has 'Asperger's Personality Disorder' with strong traits of Borderline, Sociopathy, Histrionic and Narcisstic Personality Disorders"

(or whatever, you know?)

if it'd make them happy (and keep them off us), that'd work for me.

Droopy said...

Blogger Stephanie Lynn Keil said...

"It has to be remembered this is a movie and not real life. There are problems in this relationship and the two sometimes have conflicts."

Every couple has problems in their relationship, regardless of their "neurology."


This is related to a point I've been thinking about earlier today, that being that the non-autistic and 'normal' people I've ever known and when I've not only talked to them about this but seen it evidenced where I can say I've seen for myself, how they also have to 'act normal' to the best of their ability, having to make your best effort and keep an awareness that you are not alone when you're not and maintain a presence of some sort of consideration for others when out and about.

Being considerate of others and learning a few social rules and abiding by them the best you can is hardly the domain of people with Autism (or our companion 'friends' the Neurodiversitees).

Other people say and do things when in private they would never do where they work or in a restaurant, and nobody seems to ask whether they like it or not, etc.

Its a wonder that the openly non-disabled (as opposed to these oddly secretly non-disabled) aren't kicking up the very same stink as Neurodiversity do.

Especially since it all seems to surround 'what other people think"

"I don't really have to, I can supress the urge, but I WANT to be able to shriek or do other things that might bother somebody at the store and have this just be understood and not be stared at or reacted to badly in any way' etc, or whatever,

well maybe the guy *next* to this genius is one who's not pretending to be "Autistic" and might like to fart freely, maybe actually has a rather pronounced NEED at that moment in fact, to fart in that very same store and finds it annoying to have to suppress it until he gets out of there

but he can suppress it, and so he does (and he's not in turn trying to make some case for why he's so put upon for having done so, or trying to convince others that people with Chrone's Disease shouldn't be treated, etc., as a result)

Roger Kulp said...

I have often wondered if it would be possible to set up a organization like GRASP,or ASAN,or a big message board like Wrong Planet,for autistic adults who are more disabled than the ND types that make up these other groups.If not,why ?It's something we really do need.

jonathan said...

Roger: In principle, I agree. However, it may not be feasible for a variety of reasons. Those of us who are on the spectrum and don't like ND and wish for a cure are not as high functioning and might not be as skilled at making message boards or web sites or raising the capital that would be required to pay someone else to do that endeavor.

Another problem is that there are at least some pro-cure autistics who figuratively stay in the closet and won't publically state their position on the internet yet they be ridiculed by the likes of "Alyric" or Clay Adams or Phil Gluyas or David Andrews or persons like that.

Also, the numbers of pro-cure autistics who may actually be high functioning enough to log onto the internet and have the literacy to write posts the way you and I can may be smaller than ND population, even though many more of us are a representative sample of autists being more predominantly male (Stephanie Keil and Droopy excepted of course) and having been in special schools whereas NDs are predominantly female and special ed alumni may be few and far between so we would not get as many posts or hits, etc.

However, I am gratified to see people like you, Stephanie, Droopy, Jake saying No and Ugh to ND and posting your message. Maybe someday your idea can be implemented somehow but in the meantime, I guess things have gotten better and more of us are blogging and posting against the sea of ND blogs out there. We are the Davids taking on the Goliaths hopefully.

Anonymous said...

"I wonder if there will be other autism and asperger's movies."

There's already plenty of quirky-guy-gets-conventionally-hot-girl movies (Revenge of the Nerds, Knocked Up, etc.).

What would be more original is a quirky-girl-gets-conventionally-hot-guy movie, instead of Hollywood continuing to treat women who aren't conventionally hot as persona non gratas.

Anonymous said...

AWESOME POINTS, ALL OF THESE!

"This is related to a point I've been thinking about earlier today, that being that the non-autistic and 'normal' people I've ever known and when I've not only talked to them about this but seen it evidenced where I can say I've seen for myself, how they also have to 'act normal' to the best of their ability, having to make your best effort and keep an awareness that you are not alone when you're not and maintain a presence of some sort of consideration for others when out and about.

Being considerate of others and learning a few social rules and abiding by them the best you can is hardly the domain of people with Autism (or our companion 'friends' the Neurodiversitees).

Other people say and do things when in private they would never do where they work or in a restaurant, and nobody seems to ask whether they like it or not, etc.

Its a wonder that the openly non-disabled (as opposed to these oddly secretly non-disabled) aren't kicking up the very same stink as Neurodiversity do.

Especially since it all seems to surround 'what other people think"

"I don't really have to, I can supress the urge, but I WANT to be able to shriek or do other things that might bother somebody at the store and have this just be understood and not be stared at or reacted to badly in any way' etc, or whatever,

well maybe the guy *next* to this genius is one who's not pretending to be "Autistic" and might like to fart freely, maybe actually has a rather pronounced NEED at that moment in fact, to fart in that very same store and finds it annoying to have to suppress it until he gets out of there

but he can suppress it, and so he does (and he's not in turn trying to make some case for why he's so put upon for having done so, or trying to convince others that people with Chrone's Disease shouldn't be treated, etc., as a result)"