Raising kids isn't the only thing that parents do. On last night's Parenthood, after feeling mounting pressure from his career, extended family, and Max's Asperger's, Adam triggers when a man at the grocery store makes fun of his son. Beyond the responsibilities of making good decisions for their children, a mom or dad also has to worry about finances, the future, and a myriad of other things. Are you ever overwhelmed?
So now we're relegated to the short bus? We have to hangout with people like the Lessings instead of cool people like the Genatasios?
To which Kristina says, "Maybe it's not about us right now, maybe it's about Max." And Adam replies, "Can't it be about us just a little bit?" Do you meddle in your children's friendships?
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis. And disorders on the autism spectrum are diagnosed in one in 110 children in the United States each year. Advocate Jenny McCarthy says her son Evan, 7, has been healed from the developmental disorder. It's a claim that many refute. Holly Robinson Peete and her daughter, Ryan, 12, wrote My Brother Charlie ($11), a children's book to spread autism awareness. The text is loosely based on the relationship that Ryan has with her twin brother, RJ, who has autism. At one point in the story, Callie (the main character) talks about what she'd like to do for her twin brother Charlie. It says:
I wish I could crawl inside Charlie's world and move things around for him and me. I know Charlie wants to be in my world, fitting in, making friends, having fun and laughing.
This sentiment of wanting a child to fit in is what motivates and exhausts Adam and Kristina Braverman on NBC's Parenthood in their efforts to help their son Max who was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. As parents, as sisters, as brothers, we want our children, our siblings to live like us, but is it what they want?
We've been anticipating the premiere of Parenthood, and it was well worth the wait! Though the first episode packed quite a punch covering everything from frozen sperm, biological clocks, and quasi-engagements to divorce and dating as a newly single parent, it was a scene about Asperger's syndrome that left me with a lump in my throat. Both the words "Asperger's" and "autism" have become so viral in recent years that many people have become almost immune to their impact.
But Ron Howard and Brain Grazer's new series doesn't talk about the developmental disorder so much as it shows its effects in a single compelling scene between three generations of Braverman men — Craig T. Nelson (Zeek), Peter Krause (Adam), and Max Burkholder (Max) — when Adam tells his father that there is "something wrong with his son" outside a school event when the child is puddle jumping. Perhaps the scene seems so authentic because it's been reported that writer/executive producer Jason Katims has a son with Asperger's. What did you think of the way it was portrayed?
More on the overlap after the break.