Of the few cinematic portrayals of autism I have seen, I have never seen one quite like this one.
He’s an accountant, but he’s also a thief, and a murderer. Specifically, his autism is what contributes to his abilities to avoid capture by the law. It’s very different from the hopeless dependent depictions (Rain Man) or the inspirational redemptive depictions (Temple Grandin), but at the same time, this is a darker side to autism that we might as well consider, as people with autism despised by the law is a definite possibility.
I realize that it is not something we like to think about, but anyone on the autism spectrum who grew up with a traumatic childhood could easily lose insight on what’s right and wrong, using his abnormal abilities for his selfish purposes. If you ask me, this falls completely underneath the responsibility of the parents.
In this movie, the character played by Ben Affleck grew up under a broken household: his father spent more time in the Army than with his family, and had completely irrational ideas to prepare his son for the real world. He taught him that he should stand up to bullies by physical means, and literally torture himself in order to face reality in a “normal” way.
Yet the effects of a disorderly family can generate far more trauma for anybody on the autism spectrum. The greatest reasoning for this by my experience is that…
Six-Word Lessons on Growing Up Autistic, Lesson #83: Their Memories are Sharp and Vivid.
You may not remember the details of your life as a six year old, but I can easily pinpoint many events in my life at that stage almost as if it were yesterday. Because those with ASD have such clear memories of their pasts, any hint of parental abuse or negligence leaves a far more confusing impact that jumbles up life’s morals.
Six-Word Lessons for Dads with Autistic Kids, Lesson #58: He Must Know When He’s Wrong.
Every parent should understand that they are the ones responsible in teaching their kids right from wrong. It’s not on the school or the TV to teach morals to their kids, for that percentage of time is far outweighed by time at home.
With all these steadily increasing things in society such as divorce rates, alcoholic purchases, domestic abuse, and gun violence, there needs to be a greater attention to teach our autistic kids right from wrong, so that they don’t turn out as unrepentant criminals like in The Accountant.
- Know that you, the parents, are the main influence on how your kids will turn out. Especially when your kids are autistic, you are their first role model on what to do in any given situation. This powerful TV ad sums up my point perfectly.
- Be careful about the media you show your kids. It’s not to say that the TV is the greater influence on your kids, but rather that your cautious attention to morality in what they watch demonstrates strong judgment.
- Be careful about the media that you personally take in. Regardless of what you may think, what you watch does influence how you look at the world and how you treat your kids.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see reviewed, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!