Raymond for the most part accurately depicts the truth about autism, except more to influence Charlie’s story than to give a hopeful view of someone with extra difficulties. Raymond’s dialogue composes mostly of: “Yeah.” “Definitely.” “Uh-oh.” “I’m an excellent driver.” He must keep everything throughout the week at a strict schedule—even when in Vegas, the bed must always be next to the window.
Six-Word Lessons on Growing Up Autistic, Lesson #37: They Like to Set a Schedule.
Raymond’s mental development causes a lot of inner confusion, so he always stares into space while swaying on his feet, listening only half the time. Then whenever he senses something awful could happen to him, he erupts into dangerous outbursts and self-abuse.
Yet along with what holds him back, he also possesses unbelievable mental strengths. He counts 246 fallen toothpicks in two seconds, he memorizes the phone book after reading it once, and he tracks each individual card in a game of poker.
Six-Word Lessons on Growing Up Autistic, Lesson #12: You Won’t Believe What They Think.
He ought to work at someplace such as NASA, but because of his incapability to make decisions, his sole destination is protective care.
Now first off, an immense amount of homework was done to create an accurate portrayal of an autistic adult’s basic mannerisms. Dustin Hoffman even stated how he spent a year shadowing autistic men and their families, as well as the late Kim Peek.
As time passed, people came to learn some things about autism: anyone on the spectrum can love others, most are just too confused about their own emotions to express much. Autism is not a disease, as Roger Ebert called it in his review. Despite the movie’s claims, Raymond’s case is not high-functioning, nor does it succeed as a general survey on the average autistic person. But most importantly: Autistics can change—look at where I am now compared to ten years ago!
Does that make Rain Man a bad movie to watch? No. While dated, it still works as an introduction to people about a savant’s capability, from the lens of the late 1980’s. It brings people to a new concept in an excellent place to start.
- Show Rain Man to somebody you love who you would like to introduce to autism. From there, start a discussion about whether this is how the other person thinks of people on the spectrum.
- Just like Raymond’s difficulty to understand his feelings, anyone with autism needs help as well.
- Everybody has worth; notice how Raymond counts quickly in his head and can memorize carpet patterns after a brief glance. If you are a parent of an autistic child, work on developing those unique strengths, because any employer will crave these skills.