I cannot help myself. I had thought about not writing a recap of this week’s episode of Parenthood, but all it took was a slight nudge from Amber to get me to offer my input.
Continuing with the “Max running for student council president” theme, the show highlighted a major milestone for Max. In order to be eligible to run, he had to have 25 students sign his petition to run. He came home with 25 signatures, but told his mom that he had to “ask 29 people. Because 4 said ‘no’.” He explained to her that he walked up to them, stuck out his hand to shake theirs, introduced himself, looked them in the eye, and asked them to sign his petition. For someone with Asperger’s that sequence represents so much of what is difficult to do. Walking up to strangers and looking in the eye while talking to them is not a skill that is associated with Asperger’s.
Unfortunately, the same sequence highlighted the cruelty of kids, especially when they view the person with Asperger’s as somebody that is “different.” When Kristina looked at the list, and later shared it with Adam, her heart sunk. Adam was a little upset as well that “Hugh Jass” and “Re Tard” had signed the petition for Max. I love and hate that the show’s writers capture what people with Asperger’s face due to lack of understanding. I know that if Kaitlyn were to bring home a petition with those names on there, my next destination would be the school; I will not tolerate her being called names, especially a “retard” because she is quirky.
Adam and Kristina initially respond by agreeing that Max should not run for student council in his first year because they fear a loss would send him into a significant pattern of regression. When they tell Max, he is less than happy, and tells them that since he is a student in good academic standing who got 25 signatures, he is eligible. He calls them “fascists” and “un-American” and threatens to report them to the House Commission on Un-American Activities. As Max leaves the room, Adam informs him that the particular Commission he referenced had been dissolved for being un-American. Amber and I laughed at that part, because we could see us being in that situation. And with me being quite stubborn and hard-headed (supposedly), she knows that I would have been responded just like Adam did and dropped some knowledge on Kaitlyn.
Eventually, Max is allowed to run. And as the show draws to a close, Adam and Kristina are doing what any good parent does, and they are helping Max make his campaign signs.