Tuesday, October 11th, 2011
There aren’t many older kids with disabilities in Max’s life. Obviously, there are older students at Max’s school. He also attends a Sunday program where there are some, and there is a girl in her twenties next door to us who has Down syndrome. But he’s not close to them and otherwise, my son’s life is filled with so-called “typical” people.
TV? I can name all the people with disabilities on one hand: Max Braverman on Parenthood, who has Asperger’s syndrome; Becky Jackson on Glee, who has Down syndrome, plus Artie who’s a paraplegic (neither of whom are actually disabled); Dr. Gregory House on House, who uses a cane; and Dr. Albert Robbins, M.D., on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, who has prosthetic legs (in real life as well). A recent report found that less than 1 percent of characters on primetime networks have disabilities, although it seems we didn’t need a report to know that our kids don’t see themselves represented on TV. There aren’t that many in the movies, either.
I’d love for Max to have a teen or adult with disabilities to hang out with for inspiration, so he can see the possibilities that lie ahead. Max does does have two great teens in his life, boys who come to visit him once a week through a Big Brother program. He absolutely adores them. If he grows up to be like them—nice, well mannered, good students who care about other people—I’ll be one happy mama.
But it would be so cool, too, if he had an older kid with special needs in his life.
Is there someone in your child’s life who he or she looks up to?
From my other blog: