They're still doing an unbelievably real depiction of Asperger's. The first episode didn't focus too much on it other than showing a little bit of behavior therapy in action. The second episode didn't focus on it directly too much either. But what it did do was show the impact that having a kid on the spectrum can have on marriage and work.
One thing most parents of kids on the spectrum hear is that the divorce rate for us is much higher than for the general population. A common statistic that is thrown around is that 80 percent of marriages with a child with autism will end in divorce. I recently read that the statistic, while being widely talked about, is not really based on fact. Nobody really knows what the actual divorce rate is.
It is probably safe to assume it's higher than the general population, however. For one thing, there is probably extra stress in the household from parenting a child (or children) on the spectrum. For another thing, there are just more issues to argue about. For example, do you fight for any service possible, hiring expensive lawyers along the way? Or do you grab whatever is offered to you, thankful you don't have to pay for everything out-of-pocket? Do you pursue one type of therapy or another? The potential issues to fight about are pretty endless, and there always feels like there is so much at stake with each issue.
On "Parenthood," friends of the Braverman's were separating because the husband felt neglected by his wife who was consumed with their son's issues, not leaving much time or energy for the two of them. I suppose this can happen as well, although it did come off as sounding a bit petty. Nevertheless, I'm sure there are a lot of marriages that do end in divorce simply because one of the spouses feels totally neglected.
The other issue was how work can be impacted. On the show, Adam Braverman was stressing about his job. The company he works for has been impacted by the recession. His boss, the company owner, has commented on how work doesn't seem to be a priority for Adam. And the truth is, his son's autism diagnosis and treatments have taken on a huge priority in Adam's life. So, naturally, Adam is worried about his job security.
I was really able to relate to both of the aspects depicted on the show. My husband and I have certainly butted heads a lot on what the best way to proceed is. We probably agree the bulk of the time, but not always. Also, being a one-income family, I do worry about what impact the recession will have on my husband's job. He has made our daughter his number one priority, so there is always that worry that it can have an impact with his job.
While I think we'll be absolutely fine on both counts, it is extra stress in our lives. "Parenthood" has done an amazing job of depicting the challenges and joys of having a child with autism.