Two nights ago I watched the much anticipated premiere of the TV series “Touch”. The official trailer can be seen here on YouTube with the following description: “The series centers on a father who discovers his autistic, mute son can actually predict events before they happen.”
There had been a lot of speculation within the autism community about “Touch”. Would it be an accurate depiction of autism or would it be another attempt to glorify autism as a disorder with superhuman traits. With that in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but watch it through the eyes of a parent of an autistic child.
So what did I think? Well…as I watched I found myself very focussed on how they portrayed the boy in the show, how realistic were the scenarios and was it plausible. It reminded me a lot of the TV series Numb3rs. This series revolved around 2 brothers and their efforts to fight crime in LA. One is an FBI agent, the other a mathematical genius – he might even be considered a savant by definition. His use of mathematics was always a crucial part in solving the crime. Only in this series, the genius brother is simply that…a genius brother. No autism, no repetitive behaviours, no sensory issues, no “limited” diet AND he could sleep at will.
Similar premise yet the focus shifts from the use of mathematics as a science to solve crimes to the use of mathematics as numbers for an autistic boy to communicate. In "Touch" the attention is on the mathematical abilities of the autistic character as opposed to focussing on more common traits of autism.
I came across a must read article "Touch" TV Series Uses Numbers to Connect People” by Emilie Lorditch, Inside Science News Service. In it a
As I wrote in a previous post “More than 2 sides to a Story About Autism”, I don’t believe any one movie/TV series/character can accurately portray autism. I am thankful attempts are being made to bring about awareness of autism and will remain open-minded. Had I watched “Touch” purely from an entertainment standpoint I would give it a B+ (and not an A) only because I don’t want to set my expectations too high for future episodes. ;P I like “sci-fi”, I like the premise of the show and OK, I like Kiefer Sutherland.
These are only my thoughts...D
PS Happy Birthday Sis!!!