Temple Grandin, the HBO Movie, and My Son

by Tamar Bihari

This past weekend saw the cable TV premiere of a movie about animal behavior expert and autism advocate Temple Grandin. WVFC contributor Tamar Bihari writes about watching the film with her son, who had been diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum.

Whenever I watch or read an account of someone with autism, I have one of two default reactions. If it rings false to me, I feel angry. Betrayed. I threw a bestselling novel across the room a few years ago because the depiction of a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome felt hollow and contrived, all tics with no sense of what it would actually be like to be that boy, to wrap yourself in his skin.

If, on the other hand, it rings true, I cry. I’m not even sure why. Tears of recognition, maybe. A feeling that the creators get it. This is the way it is.

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