For a long time, I've avoided watching the show Parenthood. It's because everyone keeps comparing my child to this show and kept saying that I need to watch it.
Ever since I admitted that my child may or may not have autism, things have been different (He has yet to be fully diagnosed from a Developmental Pediatrician). People try to give advice right and left. Sometimes they tell me some useful things about where they take their child to therapy, where to find grants, encouraging me to keep moving forward, etc. Other times, it's off the wall crazy things, such as my child/niece/nephew/cousin has this too and it's the EXACT SAME, if you change his diet to " what I think is best" it will FIX EVERYTHING, if only you "did this more" it WOULD CURE HIM.
But what bugs me the most is when they compare my child to Max on Parenthood.
One of the main characters, Adam has a son named Max and in the first season (where I'm currently watching), Max gets kicked out of elementary school, sees a specialist and is diagnosed with Aspergers. His parents "magically" find a Special Education private school near their home that they can "magically" afford and get him enrolled. Where I'm watching right now, Max is introduced to his therapist Gaby and she does Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy to help Max to stop going out of control. Every episode so far, Gaby "magically" gets Max to behave normally.
IT IS TV PEOPLE, AND NOT REAL LIFE. Hence the "magically" in quotations.
Max is five years old. Henry is only two. Max is often out-of-control aggressive. Henry isn't aggressive enough. Max throws major temper tantrums. Henry's temper tantrums (hello terrible twos!) are less than five minutes. Max plays baseball. Henry will be lucky if he ever becomes coordinated enough to properly throw a ball. Max's parents can "magically" afford the extensive therapies and private school. Henry is using our county's free program and will be going to public school. Are they the same? Not even close.
NO TWO CHILDREN ARE THE EXACT SAME.
A diagnosis for Aspergers doesn't exist anymore. Everything is now on the autism spectrum. A child who would have been diagnosed with Aspergers only a few years ago would now be called a child with high functioning autism or barely on the spectrum. This is where Henry may or may not be. Or it could be something entirely different, we just don't know yet.
The only way that a TV character and my son are alike is that therapy helps them. As a mother to another parent, if for whatever reason your child is recommended for any type of therapy-- therapy can only help. You have to listen to your gut and what it tells you what is best for your child and as their parent, you will know what is best.
The only other thing I could agree with the depiction on the show-- Max's mom Kristina, worries heavily about her children. But then again, that's what all good mothers do, autism or not.
I will now continue watching Parenthood on Netflix and simply enjoy watching it. It was created for our entertainment after all.