Is Autistic The New “R-Word”?

The video clip above is from the new movie 21 Jump Street. In the clip, Jonah Hill shows Ice Cube a chart that looks like it was made by a first grader. Ice Cube says:

This chart looks like sh*t. Are you autistic?

A lot of people in the autism community are up in arms because of the slant. Many feel like it’s become a substitute for the nearly-taboo “R Word.” There’s a good chance that’s the case.

However, I’m upset for an entirely different reason.

You see, movies like Superbad and 21 Jump Street don’t exactly become box office hits for their political correctness. That’s part of what makes them funny. They have a certain shock value that, in the right context, is funny. Sure, sometimes it crosses a line, but in the moment, the jokes can be pretty hilarious.

My problem isn’t that they made fun of autism. People with autism can be super eccentric and some of their behaviors are funny. What bugs me is that they didn’t bother to educate themselves enough to make fun of autism “correctly”.

Anybody who has ever known a kid with autism knows that the chart in the video clip wouldn’t even pass as a rough draft. Maybe if Jonah Hill would have presented a computer generated 3D rendering of all of the possible suspects with full biographies, known aliases, tax histories, favorite action figures, and preferred brand of underwear, then the makers of the film would have been on to something.

Instead, they made themselves look like complete idiots by associating sloppiness and poor quality work with autism. Actually, that’s not fair. I’m making the same mistake they did. Because, you see, according to dictionary.com, an idiot is an utterly foolish or senseless person, and that seems to be giving the filmmakers a little too much credit for their lazy joke.

I’m not even asking for political correctness like a lot of people are (although that would be ideal). All that I’m asking is that they do one google search about the punchline of their joke. Here, I’ll help.

0.2 seconds could have saved those Hollywood execs from looking like morons. I mean dolts. I mean half-wits. I mean numskulls. I mean imbeciles.

I’m sorry. I can’t seem to find the right word. I’ll bet Collin can help me out…

Dear Pixar, Thank You


Entertainment seems to be a hot button issue these days, especially when it comes to parenting. Terms like “screen time” put a sour taste in our mouths, and we’re constantly told to limit the amount of time that our kids get in front of computers, iPads, TVs, and the like. There’s no doubt that having kids lead active lives is ridiculously important, but today I’d like to shift the focus a bit and give a shout out to some of the most brilliant and creative minds of this generation. Today I raise my virtual glass to the fine folks at Pixar.

If you’ve been following my ramblings for very long you now that I enjoy a good flick. It’s a great opportunity for me to escape reality for just a little while and it allows me leave the worries of life next to the electronic kiosk just before I buy that popcorn with extra butter flavoring. Brady has seen Cars 2 and Toy Story 3 in the theater and has loved the experience both times. He’s always ready for the next outing to the movies and never forgets to remind us when we drive past the theater. Really, he never forgets. Ever. Collin, on the other hand, has never really been too involved when it comes to the theater experience. I remember taking him to see Toy Story 3, watching about ten minutes of the movie, and then going out into the hall and watching reruns of Mickey Mouse clubhouse on my iPhone for the next two hours. The theater just isn’t his thing.

Keep Reading About Pixar

It Takes a (Christmas) Village to Raise a Child With Autism

It Takes a (Christmas) Village to Raise a Child With Autism.

I promise not to abuse the link feature on the new site. The only time I’ll use it is when I find something really awesome online that is absolutely perfect on its own. I read this article at the Huffington Post yesterday and it spoke to me (Hint: Click this post title to be taken to the article).

Here’s a small exceprt:

Children learn to connect with the people in their lives who have developmental disabilities by watching their parents. When parents model the imaginative generosity needed for forming substantive relationships with their relatives with autism, their own children learn how to be imaginatively generous too. And there’s a bonus — so-called “normal” children who learn to connect with a cousin who has autism wind up mastering essential ethical lessons that extend beyond the sphere of awareness as it relates to persons with disability.