Let’s get my credentials established. I am not a movie critic. I have not done film studies at all. I have no background in any of this at all. My only means of qualification is that I am really, really, really sick and tired of the Generic Romcom Formula.
The sorrowful, dramatic, and heartbreaking music swells. The man in the white coat looks at his results once again and steels himself to deliver the bad news. “The results are in,” he says. “There can be no doubt. Your child is… a burden.” She screams and cries, the dramatic sting sounds as she collapses against her supportive other.
You’ve likely seen them without ever knowing they’re there. They’re in Hallmark movies. They’re in Hero movies. They’re in your after-school special.
You almost don’t notice this one, and that’s why it’s so insidious. Once I started taking notice of it, I noticed how prevalent it was.
Someone, somewhere, latched on to the concept that Autistic people are super-good at some things and someone else’s speculation that Autism may be a step up on the so-called evolutionary ladder.
This is one that turns up in the social narrative as well as fictional ones. The autistic boy (And it’s always a boy, as discussed last week) can’t be managed and won’t be managed. Sometimes, he’s a danger to himself and others.
Autism has been the Big Scary since the 70’s, when it became a diagnostic and not merely the subheader “retarded”. I remember that they had an extended PSA about it via Quincy, which just goes to show how long this has been going on.