Parenthood: Aspie Kid or Spoiled Brat?

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Janissy
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05 Jan 2014, 7:23 pm

pensieve wrote:
Max is based on one of the writer's own autistic son but I think they turn up the stereotypicality. That's a real word.

I think maybe the writer's are making the parents seem more irresponsible after all they seem kind of young. Max might be harder for them to control and they seem new to the AS diagnosis and don't know how to handle it. As far as parents go they're not very assertive and I had a pretty easy going mum too.

Whooping an autistic kid isn't going to do much. I hated everyone that spanked me. I was an odd child like that but I never learned my lesson. My mum preferred to yell and scream at me and attack my character rather than explain why what I did was wrong.

It's an over dramatised TV show too. Max seeming to be a spoiled brat could be deliberate.


I like this take on the show. It isn't meant to be an example of a good way to raise a child. It's meant to be drama. When critiquing drama I think Is this character plausible? is a more useful question than Is this character behaving the way people ought to behave?



LtlPinkCoupe
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05 Jan 2014, 9:23 pm

Ann2011 wrote:
I don't watch the show, but with regard to the issue, I think that if you don't push your boundaries you won't figure out what you're actually capable of. To not even bother to teach a child isn't fair.
All children need to be taught what is expected of them. Different strategies may work better with some than others, but to not try at all leaves the child at a disadvantage.


I tend to agree with this - I don't really watch the show either, but your ideas make a lot of sense, Ann2011.


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Ann2011
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05 Jan 2014, 9:57 pm

Thanks :D



rapidroy
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06 Jan 2014, 1:07 am

Well now there is two aspies on the show as Hank(the camera store owner) thinks he has it and to be honest I wondered about him, he actually may be the more accurate depiction of Aspergers Syndrome. I find Max to be a little over dramatized, like they have added some very low functioning traits to the high functioning person they needed to make the role work for the TV show.



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06 Jan 2014, 1:27 am

Sweetleaf wrote:
For instance say an autistic kid can't make eye contact, so they constantly are being punished for that inability...then it probably isn't going to help them.


Yep.

You aren't going to punish the person without legs for...lacking legs and the inability to walk like most people. It's the same with any disability.



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06 Jan 2014, 1:47 am

I never even guessed he had it. I just saw him as quirky and Max and him got along well. I am not so quick in labeling people. I think he is less affected by it than Max but it could be due to him being a lot older than him so he has had more life experience and learned more.


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06 Jan 2014, 12:56 pm

I've never watched that show, so I can't really say anything about the character.


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rapidroy
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07 Jan 2014, 12:31 am

League_Girl wrote:
I never even guessed he had it. I just saw him as quirky and Max and him got along well. I am not so quick in labeling people. I think he is less affected by it than Max but it could be due to him being a lot older than him so he has had more life experience and learned more.
I have only watched the last 5 or 6 episodes so I likely saw the parts where they likely turned the aspie traits up in build up to the last episode. It would be interesting if this was included in the original character development, I suspect maybe not since Max Burkholder was the only one that appeared to be coached on AS.



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09 Jan 2014, 5:54 pm

i felt the same way when i first saw the show. i realized i was seeking a replication my own individualized experiences in a character who's main motive is educate viewers, as opposed to modeling a more nuanced autistic experience. max is very stereotyped. moreover, it's like the show didn't know how to portray asperger's deficits without them being egregiously over-amplified in every single scene. i think max comes off as bratty because he never shows consideration for others (which makes his parents lenience all the more obvious). struggling to understand other's perspectives has been transformed into an innate, all-consuming inability to do so at every conceivable moment. instead of providing a selected range of reactions that would maintain the authenticity of his diagnosis and still give him some depth as a character, he has no range at all (outside meltdowns, extreme egoism and rigidity). which to me, isn't all that realistic for any human being, whether on the spectrum or not.

i'd really like to see max develop more of his own story lines as an autistic person as opposed to being used as an educational plot device for parents/the general public.



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18 Jan 2014, 11:03 pm

Max often does come off as bratty for the various reasons cited here but for anyone who's watched the show for awhile you know there have been moments where he has shown understanding and empathy. Even though the character may be stereotypical at times, I've found myself identifying with his frustration when people or situations are irrational, when people don't do what they say they're going to do when they so say they're going to do it or when they outright lie to you. I can remember reacting like Max did a couple of times and getting punished for it. It was not possible to make the feelings go away in those situations but I learned not to express them.

In regards to other comments in this thread, I agree that you cannot spank autistic traits out of a kid. I got spanked many a time for social misbehaviors when I had no idea that I was doing anything wrong. It was a high anxiety childhood never knowing when my parents would suddenly become upset when I no idea I had done anything wrong.

I'm happy to see Hank introduced as an adult on the spectrum. His character seems fairly realistic to me because it's close to my own experience in some general ways.



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18 Jan 2014, 11:40 pm

I was spanked growing up and I responded just fine. Of course there was no Asperger's or Autism Spectrum or Misophonia back then either. But like Lepidoptera said above me, you definitely can't spank the Autism out of someone. But I certainly changed my bad behavior when I got spanked for it. Just because I am Aspie does not mean that I did not have bad behavior sometimes that needed to be disciplined out of me. Unfortunately I got disciplined for things that were Aspie or Misophonic traits sometimes. But back then no one had any way of knowing that that was what they were doing. So it was unfortunate and it did damage me in ways. But the times that I really deserved to be spanked, I really did deserve it.

I love Parenthood, it's my favorite show right now. I think that Max is definitely an example of a little bit spoiled Autistic kid. I love that they have brought in Hank as an Aspie because you can see a difference in him and Max. Hank is more like those of us who grew up Aspie when there was no Autism Spectrum. I am really glad they wrote that in. But it is a very wide spectrum so I am sure that there kids out there who are like Max. But he is a bit spoiled in my opinion.


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19 Jan 2014, 12:26 am

It's possible for a kid to be both autistic and spoiled, you know.

What I wish my parents had done when I was little, was being more predictable. Like, I never knew what the rules were. They'd get mad at me seemingly at random and spank me or yell at me or (in my dad's case) hit me, and I'd have no idea what I'd done--or I'd have done something that wouldn't have been punished at other times, or done something I coudn't help doing or hadn't even known they'd dislike. I often didn't know what I was supposed to do, and sometimes when I did know, I couldn't do it. It was like trying to walk on quicksand.


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19 Jan 2014, 3:28 am

Yeah, I see a lot of parents who make that mistake of not setting the rules straight up front and then not being consistent with the what the rules are. That is not good and all it does is confuse the kids and frustrate the parents.


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26 Jul 2014, 6:34 pm

I watched the show because I wanted to see how they portray autism. I have to say I was really disappointed that they make it look like he has no self-control and therefore can't be held responsible for his actions. Whenever he has a melt-down or tantrum, he gets his way. For example, when Amber was in the hospital, they were having donuts in the waiting room instead of the pancakes he wanted (It might not have been pancakes, I can't remember, but let's say it was). He flipped out. The next scene, he was home with Adam eating pancakes. If I did something like that as a kid, I'd probably be punished, and definitely wouldn't have gotten pancakes. Basic psychology tells us that if an action (tantrum) yields a desired result (pancakes), the action will be repeated.

I think the whole thing just reinforces stigma.

They would've really benefitted from having an autistic consultant on the show. The creator has an autistic son, and his viewpoint as a parent is valid, but I think the perspective of someone who actually is autistic would be helpful.



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26 Jul 2014, 6:58 pm

PlainsAspie wrote:
I watched the show because I wanted to see how they portray autism. I have to say I was really disappointed that they make it look like he has no self-control and therefore can't be held responsible for his actions. Whenever he has a melt-down or tantrum, he gets his way. For example, when Amber was in the hospital, they were having donuts in the waiting room instead of the pancakes he wanted (It might not have been pancakes, I can't remember, but let's say it was). He flipped out. The next scene, he was home with Adam eating pancakes. If I did something like that as a kid, I'd probably be punished, and definitely wouldn't have gotten pancakes. Basic psychology tells us that if an action (tantrum) yields a desired result (pancakes), the action will be repeated.

I think the whole thing just reinforces stigma.

They would've really benefitted from having an autistic consultant on the show. The creator has an autistic son, and his viewpoint as a parent is valid, but I think the perspective of someone who actually is autistic would be helpful.


But didn't he apologize at the end because his dad talked to him about it and Max did the right thing? I wasn't sure if he did it because he was supposed to or because he felt it was the right thing to do after the talk.

I can remember being told in high school by my therapist that giving in and letting an autistic child get their way is wrong. I know it's a cop out for parents because it's easier than to deal with the meltdowns. But what does it do for the child?


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zer0netgain
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26 Jul 2014, 7:03 pm

PlainsAspie wrote:
I think the whole thing just reinforces stigma.


Welcome to the world of entertainment. :roll: