Saturday, June 22, 2013

Mysterious Creatures...the movie

Mysterious Creatures…a must see movie for all of us parents dealing with a high functioning child on the Autism/Aspergers spectrum. It especially touches on the unique conflicts a parent faces having a more aggressive child with Autism. Not all Aspies are easy going or mild mannered, just like not all NT (NeuroTypical) people are easy going or laid back. The problem with aggressive Aspies is that they, unlike NT, may not have the same restraint or self control. In this movie, a thirty something woman with Asperger and OCD terrorizes her parents so much that in order to cope with the pain and guilt of having an out-of-control adult child, they plan to commit suicide. This Aspie is verbally abusive to her poor father, manipulative with her enabling mother, physically and verbally aggressive to strangers. Her psychiatrists mismanaged her treatment leaving her parent’s with little options to help their daughter. The couple decides to “off themselves” as a way to escape; the father succeeds, the mother survives to live a life filled with sadness, guilt, and regret. Obviously, this movie is sad, but in a way I can sympathize with the anguish this couple felt, having little or no resources to help their child: a child that is determined to enforce the rules of her own world as if everyone on earth should follow them.

As I am watching the movie, my little Aspie wakes up from a full night’s rest, yet he is in the same crappy mood that he was in when he went to bed. Last night he had a tantrum because his dad wouldn’t tell him where he got the phrase, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” He ran around screaming, “Where did you get those words from!” And when we finally answered him, he remained upset. I guess he didn’t approve of “those words” in his world, or perhaps our cheerfulness in saying them offended him. Whatever the case, this boy’s OCD behaviors have become more intense and more stressful for us. Marty’s preoccupation with ‘getting words right’ is draining, so many questions, so much frustration if he just doesn’t get it. And, he wants to know what everything is. He was yelling and screaming this morning because he asked for donuts and refused to eat what was prepared for him until he knew what it was. “What is that called?  I know I don’t like that, ugh!” Then he storms around the room growling. To stifle the meltdown last night, we sedate Marty with melatonin, bathe him; 15 minutes later he is sleeping. Thank you Jesus!

I pray that Marty doesn’t grow up to be like the adult child in “Mysterious Creatures” and I hope that his “early intervention” pays off. I hate that this couple was consumed by their lack of knowledge and inability to cope with the stress of raising a special needs child. Clearly, they lacked social support and expert advice. In my opinion, their child probably had a touch of Bipolar to go along with her Asperger diagnosis…unfortunately, her spastic raging behaviors reminded me of my little guy, but unlike her parents…I know about the resources, and I am fortunate to have a support system and neighbors that care about my little boy. I am active in my kids’ school. This speaks volumes to teachers and administrative staff. They genuinely appreciate the parents that volunteer and are proactive in their child’s education. With a special needs child on an IEP, it pays to be nice to the teachers. They return the favor, trust me.
I can’t help but to feel sad for the couple in the movie, and a little angry that the father seemly died in vein. I am dedicating this blog entry to his memory in hopes that parents of children with Autism, a disability, or a special need learn to seek help when they are mentally, emotionally, and physically drained. I chose to work in the behavioral health field because of my desires to help people deal with the challenges of life. I hate to think of more parents doing what the couple did in Mysterious Creatures. I know it is very hard, sometimes unbearable, to raise a child with special needs but YOU are not ALONE! Help is only a click, a phone call, or an email away!

2 comments:

  1. I was looking up Autism and BME women leaders for Black History Month, when I came across your blog and ....thank you for leading me to this film
    "Mysterious Creatures" A true story a very sad story.
    I did not like the part of Aspergers stated.,
    How much of this is learnt behaviour and how much is Aspergers as the film info says?
    I still believe no one is born a bully but learns to be a bully,
    Maybe the Aspergers is fuelling the demands of the daughter.
    Bipolar, OCD and Aspergers, don't always travel together but they did this time.
    The daughter only makes demands on her parents and she does not go begging (in the film) the world seems to scare her but also holds the shoes that she craves.
    I find it a scary film, a true story, the family were highly educated, clean, respectable etc etc.
    I disagree that help is readily available, especially because of the lack of a diagnosis.

    Inaspectrum is a community for all adults with an interest of Aspergers with or with out a diagnosis. People still fall through our "all inclusive net", they come and they go. look at the Meetup social network, a group may have 50 members but only 8 attend the meetings, what are the other 42 people doing that they felt they should join a support group but not get support ?
    People dip in and out of "services" for all sorts of reasons, one borough is not like the next, the appropriate help is not always available schools need results for their ofstead report which leads to pupils being misdirected and falling short of their potential, as many reasons as colours in the spectrum.

    I am not blaming anyone in the film, its life... yet not as we often know it. I don't think it is wrong to give someone everything they want, but it is unrealistic to deny one's self, which was the parents major disadvantage.
    I am not sure that I would want to show this film to a group of adults with Aspergers.

    Thank you Black Aspie for sharing this and I hope I have not caused any offence,
    Best regards
    Paul
    Inaspectrum

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  2. Thanks for reading my blog and no I am not offended. I wouldn't share this with others dealing with aspergers as this is a case of a loss of hope. This is based on a true story but it takes place during a time were knowledge about aspergers and its respective co-occurring mental illnesses was scarce. The parents had little resources and no family/friends to support them. I guess I should write a new entry to update my aspie's progress. He is, currently, obsessed with the Titanic and easily frustrated and quick to become engaged to the point of being physically aggressive. I feel for all parents of children on the spectrum. Sometimes it can be a difficult and isolated role, but I believe my Marty is worth the challenge and was meant to be. Thanks again.

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