Korea made a drama about Autism. I can’t say that I didn’t go into watching it without some serious apprehensions. As I mentioned in the video, Korea doesn’t necessarily have the best history with mental healthcare, at least not until the past few years. That they were stepping up and doing a drama where the main lead has a serious mental disability.. well I was just hoping they would take it seriously.
The first drama I really saw Joo Won in was last year’s Bridal Mask. Now Joo Won is a total cutie, but I got to say, they did showcase characters who were mentally unstable (IE the brother pretending to be mentally insane in order to get out of jail and disguise his secret identity as the original Bridal Mask). But the characterizations were the unpleasant, let’s beat this guy up for being strange attitude towards the mentally disabled that I abhor.
Perhaps I’m taking this too personally, but as a former teacher and an acknowledged geek I can’t stand bullying. I faced it as a kid and as I grew older refused to conform to part of the in-crowd especially since I liked things that some people thought were strange such as Asian dramas for example. Heck, I still get a lot of it in the YouTube troll comment sections because some of ya’ll think my voice is annoying. Thanks, I appreciate it. Seriously, do you think that I don’t actually read your comments?
Anyways, I’ve also known a lot of people throughout my life that have had Autism. Some of the people that are dearest to my heart have Asperger’s, which while they’re removing it from the Autism Spectrum has long been known as a high functioning form of the disorder. They’ve helped me develop my tastes in music, video games and anime over the years and discover my love for Asian dramas (albeit unintentionally). It’s by watching their passion for what they are interested in that has lead me to fully throw myself into finding out everything I can about Asian Dramas and the broader YouTube filming world itself. Being an introverted person, they’ve helped me embrace my own awkward self. When I felt that my world was tumbling out of control and being around people and having to follow society’s rules made me want to scream, they were people that accepted me for whom I was as I accepted them.
This summer I spent some time with a very special little guy with Asperger’s who asked me about my mom. (for those of you who didn’t watch my Draw My Life video she died years ago) His simple straightforward answer of “That’s ok, she loved you and she’s in heaven. I love you too” meant more to me than he’ll ever know as did his big hug when I saw him next after visiting her grave before he ran off to play Angry Birds. I love you little man and I miss you and your family when I’m away.
I’m glad that Good Doctor wasn’t a terrible representation of Asperger’s; these kids need a fighting chance!