In the history of television, I don’t believe our community has ever had as strong a connection to a show as we have had with NBC’s ‘Parenthood‘. Last week, we saw the series finale after six magnificent and heartfelt seasons on the air. This show tells the story of the Braverman’s, a family that consists of an elderly couple, their four children and their families. One of the more intriguing characters on the show was Max Braverman, a young boy with Aspergers syndrome, a form of autism.
No other show on national tv has ever depicted a child’s character with autism before. This show offered us the opportunity to show a national audience each week a new look into the world of autism.. The American public saw what families that have a loved with autism see everyday. Topics such as acceptance, bullying, unique interests, sensory integration, speech, communication and much more were discussed through Max’s character. Later, we’d even be introduced to a character that may or may not be an adult on the autism spectrum.
It became clear very early on that this show wasn’t only a true portrayal into autism but many family-related issues that happen today. Now this show can live in infamy on Netflix, Hulu and all the other streaming websites as one of the better family dramas we’ve seen.
So I wanted to say ‘thank you’ to NBC for giving this show a chance to shine. This show gave a voice to our autism community on television. With the numbers of autism being 1 in 68 today, this show couldn’t have come at a better time to help spread awareness. Autism has certainly become part of the national culture. I truly hope the series “Parenthood” will open the door for the portrayal of more characters with autism in the future.