Adult Movies?

Here is one of the tricky things about autism: you need to be very specific about what you are communicating. Bryan loves, loves, loves movies. He knows the names of all of the actors in a movie he is interested in, he knows the soundtracks, he knows or asks if it’s real or not. However, you need to be really specific. For example, he asks “Can I watch American Hustle?” Before we answer he says, “it’s an adult movie”. Well most people don’t think of American Hustle as an adult movie, but rather as a movie for adults. To hear him ask, “do you like adult movies?” or “I don’t watch adult movies”, well you have to chuckle a little bit. English is a crazy language and I think for kids with autism, where often the nuance or the spirit of the expression is not apparent, the navigation can be a bit tricky. He is also grappling with what is real and what is fake. He asks if animated movies are real or fake. Well they are all fake or fictional but some things are just not that black and white. The story can be fake and certainly an animated movie is not real, but it is a real animated movie and the voices of the characters are real voices from real people. If you are following this then you are doing better than I am. It’s sort of like a brain teaser. If Bradley Cooper is a real person and he plays the voice of Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy and Rocket is kind of a raccoon, which is a real animal, is Bradley Cooper real or fake? Well you have to “pick a side” and go with it. All animated movies/cartoons are fake…period. Voices are from real people but characters are fake. I think I may need a spreadsheet to remember everything.
The real vs. fake theme has carried to another level as well. Bryan is obsessed with dead relatives and their photos. Every day he is taking a photo of my grandparents and Earl’s grandparents and asking if they are real or fake, dead or alive. Something feels off to get frustrated with your kid and say, “Bryan my Nana Doris is dead, go play X-box”. However, after hearing the question 400 times you get a little frustrated.
I could not blog at the end of the first week of school without addressing it. Bryan is an 8th grader, same teacher, same school, BMOC. He couldn’t wait to go back and he loves his teacher, aides, speech teacher etc. As soon as he got home from camp he went right to my facebook page to look at all of them. I don’t think we had any concerns about his transition from summer to school. Jason is a 6th grader and was starting middle school. This is the first year in a few years, and probably the last year ever, they will be in the same school. Although they have their share of fights, they are happy to go together. Bryan always knows everyone at his school; he is friendly and says hi. At orientation Jason was even a little shocked by how many people knew Bryan and acknowledged him. Jason has had a really good week. He likes his teachers and has made a few friends. However, I am suspect, waiting for the other shoe to drop. What is wrong with me? Why can’t I accept the fact that perhaps Jason is well adjusted and is going with the flow? Why do I have this nagging feeling like I’m being lulled into a false sense of security? Only time will tell.

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2 thoughts on “Adult Movies?

  1. Deborah Retzky Shaul (from New Ro)

    We start school tomorrow. I also have one year with the two in Middle School I wanted to comment because I’m in the middle of crafting my first day of school lesson for the 10th graders I teach (English), and I usually speak about language and word meaning. (two years ago: how “bread” is money, how “money” means “dope,” and how “dope” means cool but that the kids will also hear “you are a dope if you use dope,” all in the context of how English is a confusing language). Last year we examined the idea that “Friend” is now an adjective–as in “Facebook Friend,” “Message” is now a verb– as in “Message me later.” That sort of thing. So I was trolling online looking for new ideas for this year’s language lesson and read your blog post when it came to my in-box. Perfect. Thank you for the comments and for the help with the first day’s lesson!

    • Hi, thanks so much! It is amazing sometimes how you need to break things down. One great suggestion we got a few years ago from Bryan’s teacher was to get him a dictionary. So sometimes if I don’t think he knows what a word means, we go look it up and talk about it. Or I try to give him language for things. For example, last year we rescued two cats from a shelter. I told his teacher about and I wanted him to be able to talk about it. I told him, ” we went to a shelter. do you know what a shelter is?” He will say yes but he doesn’t, so I define it for him and then go back. It’s always the most obvious things that are the most challenging!! Good luck with your students and thanks for reading my blog.

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