All summer, the trailer to The Good Doctor on ABC (a show about a young surgeon with Autism and Savant Syndrome) was shown, on the television, on billboards… and even plastered on the huge busses in New York City! Each time I saw it, the hairs on my arms would raise
As the days draw nearer, excitement grew and GREW. One week before, I blast it ALL over my social media reminding EVERYONE (specifically my Accept Autism Fest Facebook Group and other Autism support groups) to stay tuned…. The GOOD Doctor on ABC is coming. I just knew it would be au-mazing! SO I told everyone about it! I even called the news station in New York to pitch an idea of my expert and personal thoughts on it!! YUP, I DID!
Ever saw a trailer of a movie and you became highly anticipated and then was HUGELY disappointed? I knew that minor possibility existed but was not even going to focus on that.
Monday night, as the anticipated premiere start time of The Good Doctor nears, Zachary, my 11-year-old “Au-mazing Gift” living with Autism cuddles next to me on the couch at 10 pm, our time, he felt my excitement. I mean the fact that I allowed him to stay up later than his routine scheduled bedtime, he knew something good was happening.
IT HAPPENED … The Good Doctor on ABC started with the scene of him in the train station and immediately, I WAS HOOKED, along with the rest of the world.
Here’s why I got hooked:
He did a good job, actually a remarkable job. The actor Freddie Highmore, playing Dr. Shaun Murphy is doing a good job. His verbal responses and gestures were soooo believable and reminded me of the combination of so many of my Autism children that I have worked with over the last 20 years.
This opens the conversation about Autism in so many homes and will continue to do that every Monday night on a major network station. That’s so FREAKING COOL. I felt like we jumped forward in eons towards Autism acceptance and inclusion in one huge forum. I hope this show opens people minds to people with Autism and other different-abilities
It’s not only Autism:
The Good Doctor has Autism but he also has Savant Syndrome, which not all individuals with Autism, (also referred to as on the spectrum) are savants. So this show is NOT a one size fits ALL.
It’s a good start:
It’s not THE ANSWER but it’s a damn good start. NO, I don’t expect this show to show what our lives as parents or individuals living with Autism is like. And because Autism is such a huge spectrum, this show only touches the surface. However, my glass-half-full perspective is excited to see the surface touched in front of so MANY eyes. This is major progress.
Opportunity to educate:
As much as this show is a good start, we still have to communicate with the world, that this character represents one (or few) individuals with Autism. No two individuals are the same. Here’s an opportunity to learn more, but also keep in mind that Dr. Shaun Murphy does not represent every autistic person. As previously mentioned, the Autism spectrum is large and wide. Just needed to reinforce that.
As an Autism communication expert (Autism mom, AU-diologist, Speech Pathologist and AU-thor of AU-mazing gift: A Journey to Autism Acceptance), I personally felt the producers, writers, and actors did a phenomenal job. I also loved how they showed how his brain was processing information. They let us enter his world. I specifically loved when they spoke about choosing him because he was different. “Accept Differences” is the first success tool in my best seller Au-mazing Gift: A Journey to Autism Acceptance.
As you can see I LOVED the show, every minute of it. I cried, I laughed, I smiled, and got angry all through this one episode. I loved that the show did not only focus on Shaun with Autism, but enough to gradually understand and connect to his au-mazing gift. I’m hooked and eagerly anticipating what is ahead.
What are your thoughts? Share below.